Traffic and rail service restrictions have been revealed ahead of this year’s Lewes Bonfire Night.
The world-famous annual event draws tens of thousands of people to the county town every November 5, filling the streets with processions, colourful tableaux, flaming torches, banners and barrels.
Last year strict restrictions were put in place by the emergency services – and this year there are a few changes to those.
A multi-agency group comprising Lewes District Council, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Sussex Police, Southern Rail and SECAmb reiterated the event should be “for locals”.
It said in a statement, “A special request about Lewes bonfire night.
“We would ask that Lewes bonfire is considered as an event for locals – rather than large numbers of people travelling into the town.
“Lewes quickly gets overcrowded and uncomfortable, with very few public facilities available on Bonfire Night.”
Road closures will be put in place around the town centre from 4.45pm pm on November 5 as follows:
• A27 junction with A277 Brighton Road (Ashcombe Roundabout)
• A27 junction with A26 (Southerham Roundabout)
• A26 junction with B2192 Ringmer Road (Earwig Corner)
• C7 Kingston Road junction with C324 Wellgreen Lane
• A275 Offham Rd junction with B2116 Plumpton Road
• A27 junction with Southerham Lane (Cliffe Industrial Estate)
• Parking restrictions will begin to be imposed from noon. More information will follow closer to the event.
• There will be no trains calling at Lewes, Glynde and Southease after 17.00 in line with the Lewes Road closure order.
• There will be no trains calling at Cooksbridge after the 16.16 from Victoria to Eastbourne has stopped there at 17.20 – the same as last year following representations and review.
• There will be no trains calling at Falmer after the departure of the 18.31 Brighton to Hastings service at 18.40. This is a change from last year, when the last train was at 17.00, and it has been made in response to feedback.
No trains will calls at the above stations until the first timetabled trains on the morning of November 6.
Why are these restrictions put in place?
With tens of thousands of people flooding into Lewes most years, concerns have been raised about overcrowding – particularly in areas such as the town’s War Memorial.
Combined with fireworks, emergency services say this presents a “unique challenge” to ensure public safety.
Last year, the operation to keep people safe involved hundreds of staff from emergency services, the local council, and other organisations.