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.


Read our FAQs and find out about other events.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Safety at the centre of final preparations for Lewes Bonfire Night


Final preparations are being made for Lewes Bonfire Night with public safety being put first.

Emergency services, local authorities and transport operators have been working together to bring in measures to help manage the number of people attending the event. At its height, it’s estimated as many as 60,000 people have attended in past years.

While the same numbers are not expected this year, there remain serious concerns about overcrowding in the narrow streets of Lewes and people are being asked not to travel to the event. A number of travel restrictions were announced in the summer and it is hoped that those who are inconvenienced will understand that this has been done for the benefit of public safety.

Superintendent Howard Hodges from Sussex Police said:

“Whilst recognising the importance of seasonal festivities including Lewes Bonfire it is important that both the events held and that those attending them are safe.

In order to achieve this a wide range of partners have worked with the Bonfire Societies to put in place practical measures to achieve this.

Whilst it is accepted that there will be some disruption on the night as a result this has been done for the sole purpose of reducing the numbers of people coming to Lewes in order to avoid overcrowding and to keep people safe.

I would encourage people to attend their local events and to ensure that they look after themselves and plan ahead in relation to how you will safely get to and from these events”.

Nigel Cusack from East Sussex Fire and Rescue is calling on people to Stay Local and find alternatives events nearer to them:

“We know that there are plenty of alternative bonfire events across Sussex throughout the autumn months which people can enjoy and support. Managed and organised firework displays help bring local communities together and often raise funds for good causes. ESFRS actively promote the attendance of your local managed events which helps reduce the chances of accidents with bonfires and fireworks at home”

Ed Hele from Lewes District Council said:

"We would strongly encourage anyone thinking of travelling to Lewes on bonfire night to reconsider. The travel restrictions, which have been put in place for very good reasons, will make it difficult to get in and out of the town. We echo the advice for people living outside of Lewes to enjoy a bonfire event closer to home."

Travel restrictions

Road closures from 16.45pm on 5 November 2018
• 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. 

Further information can be found on the Lewes District Council Website.

Rail travel

• No trains will call at Lewes, Falmer, Glynde or Southease from 17.00 on 5 November 2018 until the first timetabled trains on the morning of 6 November 2018.

• The last train of the day to stop at Cooksbridge will be the 16:16 departure from London Victoria, which arrives at 17:20, before continuing to its next stop, which will be Polegate. Cooksbridge station will then be closed until the first timetabled trains on the morning of 6 November 2018.

• Customers wishing to travel from London to destinations on the Seaford line should catch a train to Brighton, to connect with a train for stations to Seaford, as there will be no interchange at Lewes.

Details of other local events can be found at: https://lewesbonfire2018.blogspot.com/p/stay-local-events.html 


Friday, October 5, 2018

Countdown on for Lewes Bonfire celebrations


With a month to go until the Lewes bonfire celebrations, a renewed call is being made for people from outside the town to “Stay Local” and find a display nearer to home.

In the past, tens of thousands of people have attended, prompting a warning from an independent crowd safety review that:

“Left unchanged, there is a very high likelihood of an incident occurring that could result in serious injury or death to one or more people in this event.”

Since 2010, 818 injuries were reported. Last year 92 people were hurt during the celebrations. A third of these were hurt on the procession routes and one fifth by bangers or other fireworks.

A multi-agency group of emergency services, local authorities and transport operators has been working together for many months to put measures in place to reduce this number and the risk of a more serious incident.

However, there is no single organiser for the event which presents challenges when considering crowd management through the town.

Over-crowded streets also make it harder for emergency services to reach those in need of help.

Alongside the Stay Local campaign, travel restrictions are being brought in on the 5 November to help manage the numbers of people in the town

These can be found at: http://lewesbonfire2018.blogspot.com/2018/ along with details of local events.

Travel restrictions

Road closures from 16.45pm on 5 November 2018
 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.

Rail travel

 No trains will call at Lewes, Falmer, Glynde or Southease from 17.00 on 5 November 2018 until the first timetabled trains on the morning of 6 November 2018.

 The last train of the day to stop at Cooksbridge will be the 16:16 departure from London Victoria, which arrives at 17:20, before continuing to its next stop, which will be Polegate. Cooksbridge station will then be closed until the first timetabled trains on the morning of 6 November 2018.

 Customers wishing to travel from London to destinations on the Seaford line should catch a train to Brighton, to connect with a train for stations to Seaford, as there will be no interchange at Lewes. 

We recognise that there will be an impact on train passengers and road users who are not planning to attend the event. The decision to bring in travel restrictions has been made in the best interests of safety. We hope that those who are inconvenienced will understand that and have time to make alternative arrangements where possible.


Thursday, September 6, 2018

Safety is the priority in special travel arrangements for Lewes Bonfire

The public is being reminded of the special travel arrangements which are being put in place for Lewes Bonfire.

The restrictions were announced on 4 July 2018 following a decision by a multi-agency group made of emergency services, local authorities and transport operators, whose priority is to keep the public safe and feeling safe.

Following feedback from last year, announcements are being made well ahead of the event on 5 November 2018 in order to allow people more time to plan. People are also being encouraged to attend fireworks events closer to home.

Lewes has narrow streets which cannot safely cope with a huge influx of people during the busy bonfire celebrations. These restrictions will help better manage the safety of tens of thousands of people expected to attend the event and reduce the risks of a serious incident.

It should also be noted that it is not just about numbers of people, but where they are in the town and whether certain areas become dangerously over-crowded.

Road closures from 16.45pm on 5 November 2018
•    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.

Rail travel
•    No trains will call at Lewes, Falmer, Glynde or Southease from 17.00 on 5 November 2018 until the first timetabled trains on the morning of 6 November 2018. Online journey planners such as National Rail Enquiries will be updated closer to the time.
•    The last train of the day to stop at Cooksbridge will be the 16:16 departure from London Victoria, which arrives at 17:20, before continuing to its next stop, which will be Polegate. Cooksbridge station will then be closed until the first timetabled trains on the morning of 6 November 2018.
 

We recognise that there will be an impact on train passengers and road users who are not planning to attend the event. The decision to bring in travel restrictions has been made in the best interests of safety. We hope that those who are inconvenienced will understand that and have time to make alternative arrangements where possible.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Update on Cooksbridge trains - 5 November 2018

Following its earlier announcement that travel restrictions would be put in place on 5 November in and around Lewes for the benefit of public safety at the bonfire celebrations, the multi-agency group can confirm the following:

•    No trains will call at Lewes, Falmer, Glynde or Southease from 17.00 on 5 November 2018 until the first timetabled trains on the morning of 6 November 2018.

•    The London Victoria 16.16 train will stop at Cooksbridge at 17.20 before continuing to its next stop at Polegate. Cooksbridge station will then be closed until the first timetabled trains on the morning of 6 November 2018.

As this is a change from original plans drawn up to help manage crowds at Lewes Bonfire, the multi-agency group will monitor the impact of having a train stop at Cooksbridge after other stations have closed in order to assess the impact on public safety.

Due to concerns that this may create additional risks which would need an emergency services response or other resources at different locations, we have taken the decision not to change the timing of other station closures.

The group would like to thank those from the local community who have contributed to the consultations and engagement around this matter.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Public safety central focus for Lewes Bonfire operation


The safety of visitors, the travelling public and residents is being put at the heart of decisions around Lewes Bonfire night 2018.

A multi-agency group made of emergency services, local authorities and train operators has therefore agreed to a series of travel restrictions for the 5th November 2018.

Following feedback from last year, announcements are being made well ahead of the event in order to allow people more time to plan. People are also being encouraged to attend fireworks events closer to home.

Lewes has narrow streets which cannot cope with a huge influx of people during the busy bonfire celebrations. These restrictions will help better manage the tens of thousands of people expected to attend the event and reduce the risks of a serious incident. It should also be noted that it is not just about numbers of people, but where they are in the town and whether certain areas become dangerously over-crowded.

Road closures from 16.45pm on 5 November 2018

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.

Rail travel

Following meetings with local groups including Parish Councils and Lewes District Council, the multi-agency group is taking seriously concerns about the impact this will have on those not involved in the event.

This has to be balanced against the real concerns for public safety on one day of the year.

In principle, the group has agreed that no trains will call at Lewes, Falmer, Glynde, Southease or Cooksbridge from 5pm on 5 November 2018 until the first timetabled trains on the morning of 6 November 2018.

However it is further investigating whether adjustments to this plan can be safely implemented to help commuters get home around 5pm.

Updates from the multi-agency group will be published here.

Read our Questions and Answers


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Public safety at the heart of planning for 2018

The Lewes Bonfire celebrations are a significant event for both Lewes and the wider community. A multi-agency group, which includes emergency services and public bodies, is in the early stages of planning arrangements to help ensure public safety during these events.

No decision has been made with regards to Lewes Train Station or neighbouring stations for this year’s Lewes Bonfire celebrations. The celebrations are run by local bonfire societies and involve a number of displays and parades.

The multi-agency group has already had initial meetings with a number of interested parties and will be engaging with other key opinion formers at the earliest opportunity. Given that Lewes becomes significantly over-crowded on bonfire night, safety issues are of the utmost concern and we will be communicating key decisions when made in order to inform the wider public and reinforce the message that this remains a local event for local people