Anti-social road use update

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.

Vaccination update

ANDREW GRIFFITH MP – VACCINE UPDATE
Andrew has produced a special newsletter on the progress of COVID-19 vaccinations across the Arundel & South Downs constituency which can be seen here.

LOCAL VACCINATION UPDATE
We understand that patients registered with the Arundel Surgery are now being called to attend for their vaccination in accordance with the government programme – the surgery website can be accessed at www.arundelsurgery.co.uk

According to the website for the Pulborough Medical Group, they have a delivery of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines later this week. These vaccines are for patients aged 70 and over, and those who are in the extremely high-risk category and would be in receipt of a letter advising them to shield – PMG are inviting these patients to make an appointment for their vaccination. For more details, please see here

 

News from Andrew Griffith MP

In his January Newsletter, Andrew provides further commentary on Britain’s roll out of the coronavirus vaccines and reports on the grants announced by the Chancellor to support businesses and protect jobs and the Covid Winter Grants being made available to support and provide assistance to the most vulnerable. To view Andrew’s Newsletter please see here. The support grants are administered by Chichester District Council who have produced the following information: –

Business grants
We currently have a range of business grants available for district businesses that were affected by the second national lockdown in November 2020 and the recent local tier restrictions. If you own a business, you can find out if you are eligible and apply for all of the currently available grants here: Coronavirus support for businesses. We’re also reminding businesses that we are still issuing our business recovery grants: COVID-19 recovery grants.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP has also announced one-off top up grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses through to the Spring. Further funding is being made available for councils to support other businesses not eligible for the grants that might be affected by the restrictions. As soon as we access the finer details from Government, all updates will appear on our website at: Coronavirus support for businesses, where you can also apply for grants. We will also provide updates in future newsletters, and on our social media channels.
The Government has also announced that the furlough scheme has also been extended to April 2021 and the 100% Government backed loans have been extended until March 2021. You can find the announcement on the  Government website(Opens in a new window) .

Support for the vulnerable
We are continuing to work in partnership with West Sussex County Council to support those who are most at risk. You can contact the Community Hub if you, or someone you know, need help in these difficult times. If you have support in place, please continue to use it. You can contact the Community Hub(Opens in a new window) on 033 022 27980 or online.

Andrew Griffith MP, November update

In his latest monthly update, Andrew provides commentary on the Coronavirus situation, news of his activities within the House of Parliament and those within the constituency. From our parish point of view there is welcome news of the progress of Andrew’s Bill to combat anti-social behaviour by motorists and motorcyclists on our local roads and it is reassuring to read of the recruitment of a number of new police officers which has made it possible to launch the new Sussex Police Rural Crime team. Andrew’s report can be read here.

A27 Arundel bypass

Highways England last week published details of their preferred route for the Arundel by-pass which can be seen here:-
https://highwaysengland.co.uk/our-work/south-east/a27-arundel-bypass/#latest- updates

Highways England will now will carry out extensive surveys and investigations to help them design the scheme in more detail and will work with key stakeholders, including local authorities and statutory environmental bodies over the coming months to ensure this consultation is suited to local needs. They will publicise the details of the consultation and how the public can take part in due course.

Our MP, Andrew Griffith has written to Bury Parish Council following the announcement and his comments can be seen here: –

“I am pleased to share with you the news that Highways England have today announced a preferred route for the A27 Arundel By Pass. It will reduce congestion, enhance air quality, improve road safety and support much needed employment and economic growth across the whole of West Sussex.

“This is one of the largest Government investments ever made in West Sussex and I am pleased to have worked with the Secretary of State for Transport and the Chancellor to secure the necessary funding for Highways England to proceed. As you may know this is a project that has been off and on since the 1950’s when it was first suggested. The current single lane road around Arundel is a regular bottleneck operating way above its design capacity and will only get worse if nothing is done.

“For residents of Bury this will take some traffic away from the local single carriageway roads. In particular it should reduce the number of inappropriate heavy good vehicles seeking to avoid the current peak time congestion at the Crossbush junction near Arundel and those ‘rat-running’ motorists shaving a few seconds off their journey by speeding on quieter country roads. By reducing congestion this should significantly improve air-quality with parishes such Storrington having been an Air Quality Management Area due to high levels of NO2 air pollution since 2010.

“Whilst I support this project, I am disappointed that the alternative routes which would have had less impact on the residents of Walberton, Binsted and Tortington were blocked by certain areas having protected status and by the failure of the South Downs National Park to endorse any route within its boundary. I am committed to supporting these local residents in getting the best noise mitigation, road design and where appropriate swift compensation although of course nothing can ease the pain of this decision on those whom it most affects.

“Once the finer details of the route have been developed there will be a full statutory consultation and I hope the parish council will respond to that in addition to publicly welcoming the announcement today. Some question whether we need to improve our roads at all. Whilst I support a rapid switch to cleaner and quieter vehicles – and the UK is a leader in this respect – they will still need roads to drive upon and there is nothing environmentally friendly about pollution caused by congestion.

“The current pandemic highlights the importance of supply chains and whilst long distance commuting has declined, the usage of local roads has if anything increased.

“Please would you share this message with local residents and businesses via any local email distribution lists or social media sites? Going forward I will share all the latest information on this topic at www.andrewgriffithmp.com/A27.”