Breakthrough in bid to tackle dangerous and anti-social road behaviour in Bury

Breakthrough in bid to tackle dangerous and anti-social road behaviour in Bury

New 40mph A29 speed limit is ’just the start’ vows action group

AFTER many months of hard work, Bury A29 Road Improvement Committee (BA29RIC) is delighted to announce a major breakthrough in its efforts to reduce dangerous and anti-social road behaviour on the A29 as it passes through Bury.

West Sussex County Council has confirmed that a Community Highways Scheme application by the BA29RIC for a reduction in the speed limit on the A29 has been successful and will be implemented.

The scheme will see a reduction in the speed limit on the A29 to 40mph throughout the parish, from the onset of the current 50mph limit near Carringdales, all the way up Bury Hill to beyond the South Downs Way crossing point.

It is hoped but not yet confirmed that at that point the current national speed limit will be dropped to 50mph all the way to the Whiteways roundabout.

The news follows a great deal of work by members of the BA29RIC community action group and before that by Bury Parish Council, which supported the CHS application.

It represents a major breakthrough in attempts to reduce the growing problem of noise and dangerous speeding on Bury Hill predominantly by a persistent minority of motorcyclists which has disturbed life in Bury particularly over summer weekends for more than 20 years.

The BA29RIC’s work has won important support from key figures including our MP Andrew Griffith, Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne, county councillor Tom Richardson, who helped to draft the CHS application, and district councillor John Cross.

Work has included data collection and liaising with Sussex Police over enforcement, as well as drawing up a vision of how better the A29 might serve the community of Bury in the future. And in the summer of 2023 a mini-conference on the A29 in Bury jointly staged by the BA29RIC and Bury Parish Council at Bury village hall was attended by all the above (Alan Sutton, then our district councillor, included), and members and officers from West Sussex County Council, the South Downs National Park Authority and Chichester District Council, along with the Norfolk Estate and senior Sussex Police officers.

The new speed reduction will discourage those who see Bury Hill as an opportunity to speed dangerously along the hill’s series of bends, with loud engine noise being funnelled down to the village and beyond.

Bury Parish Council have generously agreed to donate some 20% of the costs of the Scheme and the BA29 RIC are also exploring additional sources of funding. If we can contribute significantly towards the costs it is more likely that implementation will be prioritised and expedited by the Highways Department.

But this is only the beginning of the BA29RIC’s ambitions. At the 2023 mini-conference, the BA29RIC presented an ambitious 12-point plan, of which a speed reduction was just one part.

Once achieved, the new 40mph limit will allow our community to stage Speedwatch traffic monitoring operations (previously impossible alongside a 50mph-limit road). And the BA29RIC is also actively urging the deployment of average speed cameras on Bury Hill to further discourage speeding, which often exceeds 100 mph.

The BA29RIC is in dialogue with PCC Katy Bourne about the possibility of such cameras being installed in much the same way as they have in neighbouring Hampshire in order to tackle similar problems.

And longer term, the BA29RIC is exploring the possibility of collaborating with local authorities in order to instigate a landscaping study to see how the A29 might be restyled as a part of the community (indeed a road that must be crossed for most families to access the village school), transforming it from the appearance of a convenient bypass to a more attractive communal ‘Gateway to the Downs’.

John Sunderland, chairman of the Bury A29 Road Improvement Committee, said: “We are all delighted about this major achievement after 20 years of various attempts to address the problems for the residents of Bury caused by dangerous and anti-social driving on the A29. I would like to thank all my fellow committee members for their dedication and hard work, particularly Paul Whyles who instigated this campaign as a parish councillor ahead of the formation of BA29RIC.

‘We are also immensely grateful for the support of our MP Andrew Griffith, Tom Richardson and district and parish councillors, and Sussex Police. We are however mindful of the work we still have to do to ensure the complete transformation of the A29 into a road which has a genuinely positive impact on the local environment.”

Richard Champness, chair of Bury Parish Council, said:’What a fantastic piece of news for the New Year. I would like to add my thanks to all of those involved in bringing about this significant change to traffic management within our parish. I look forward to hearing more about the implementation of the speed reduction from our amazing BA29RIC, a change which I am sure will be hugely beneficial for our community and those who travel through it.’

*If you would like to learn more about the work of the Bury A29 Road Improvement Committee please email