Lewes wasn’t built for Bonfire Night, say Sussex Police

Emergency services have warned that Lewes “is not built” to hold the crowds expected for this weekend’s annual bonfire celebrations.

Ahead of Bonfire Night on Saturday November 5, Sussex Police officials said the narrow streets and ‘pinch points’ within the town were factors being considered when responding to this year’s event.

Lewes Borough Council also said up to 50,000-60,000 could attend the event as it takes place over a weekend this year and urged those who may be traveling to enjoy their local exhibitions instead.

Howard Hodges, Gold Commander at Sussex Police and chairman of the Inter-Agency Planning Group, said: “Lewes’ infrastructure is not designed for the number of people that historically attend.

“One of the concerns we have is the small town with a number of bottlenecks. First and foremost, we need to reduce the number of people in the city.”

As the city’s biggest event, the Lewes Bonfire celebrations often draw large crowds to the area and fill the narrow streets.

The Argus: Lewes Bonfire Night often results in very crowded roadsLewes Bonfire Night often results in very crowded streets

As part of the cross-organizational response to the event being organized by the traditional campfire societies, those thinking of attending are encouraged to attend other events.

Tim Whelan, Director of Service Delivery at Lewes District Council, said: “The bonfire night is the biggest event for Lewes and has a long tradition, but we think it should be an event for the local people.”

This year’s event can also be affected by a number of different factors, including an unpredictable weather forecast and travel disruptions.

Rail strikes by the RMT union mean those wishing to attend cannot do so by train, and Mr Whelan said road closures will take place from 4pm until around midnight.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue West Group Manager Doug Marshall added that the event “increases the risk of injury from fire” and that the number of people makes the event “inevitably unpredictable”.

Lewes Bonfire Night takes place on Saturday 5th November and will feature a series of road closures and disruptions across the city.

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23101320.lewes-not-built-bonfire-night-says-sussex-police/?ref=rss Lewes wasn’t built for Bonfire Night, say Sussex Police

Fry Electronics Team

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