Other than the Coronavirus pandemic, another issue to figure prominently in our Newsletters during 2020 was the ongoing problem of anti-social road use on the A29 and on Bury Hill. Matters came to a head one weekend in the middle of May when a relaxation of the original lockdown rules enabled people to venture further afield and led to parishioners wondering whether Bury had become the new venue of the Isle of Man TT races.
In the event, the degree of disturbance was such that an appeal for help to our newly-elected MP, Andrew Griffith met with immediate response, with Andrew raising the issue with the newly-appointed Chief Constable, Jo Shiner and the Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne. Operation Downsway was then launched by Sussex Police who, with the aid of camera vans, patrol cars and motorbikes (marked and unmarked) roadside checks and sound-measuring equipment secured a number of convictions and ensured that we enjoyed a number of relatively peaceful summer weekends.
However, despite the sterling efforts of Sussex Police – who have to deal with similar problems at various locations throughout the county – a permanent solution is required so BPC have made an application to the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) for the installation of average speed cameras on Bury Hill, to which Andrew has given his written support.
Meanwhile, CC Jo Shiner has now written to Councillor Paul Whyles, who heads BPC’s initiative on anti-social road use, to reaffirm that Sussex Police have remained focused on the issue during the winter months and reports that she has just appointed a dedicated Chief Inspector, Habib Rahman, to a new post to oversee all of the work and concerns relating to anti-social/dangerous driving. CC Shiner concludes :“I hope this will reassure you that our commitment to this challenge remains, both at Sussex Police and SSRP level”. Councillor Whyles has arranged to meet with CI Rahman in Bury later this week and we will report any further developments in due course.