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 check out alternative local events

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Lewes bonfire night draws to a close

Following months of planning and preparation, Lewes Bonfire Night has once again drawn to a close.

Emergency services, local authorities and transport operators have worked closely with bonfire societies and the local community over the past 12 months in preparation for the annual celebrations.

This included issuing repeated, advanced notice of road, rail and parking restrictions, so people could plan ahead for this one night of the year.

In order to manage the number of people in attendance, revellers were urged to stay safe and stay local, and attend one of the many other bonfire or fireworks displays near them.

At its peak, there were an estimated 25,000 attendees.

Whilst Lewes Bonfire Night is a long-standing tradition, it can be dangerous and unsuitable for some people, especially children.

As of 1am on Wednesday 6 November, approximately 55 people were recorded as being treated by South East Coast Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance for injuries, the vast majority of which were relatively minor.

As of the same time, a total of 9 people had been arrested in the town for offences as follows:

George Fyffe, 63, unemployed, of Baxter Road, Lewes, was arrested on suspicion of assault and being drunk and disorderly in public. He has since been charged to appear before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on 5 December.
A 19-year-old woman from Brighton was arrested on suspicion of assault of an emergency worker and obstructing arrest, and was given a community resolution.
A 16-year-old boy from Uckfield was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly in public, and three counts of assault on police. He was taken to hospital as a precaution.
The remaining suspects were all in custody as of 1am on Wednesday 6 November:
A 33-year-old man from Lewes was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly in public.
A 16-year-old boy from Eastbourne was arrested on suspicion of possessing a Class B drug (cannabis) and possessing an offensive weapon (a Stanley knife) in public.
A 53-year-old man from Tunbridge Wells was arrested on suspicion of common assault.
A 29-year-old man of no fixed address was arrested on suspicion of affray.
A 25-year-old man from Seaford was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a Class A drug.

We hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable evening. Thank you and goodnight.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Lewes Bonfire Night – will your travel plans be affected?

With Lewes Bonfire Night just days away, people are being reminded that there will be changes to the train services and closures on roads.

The measures, which were announced in the summer, are being brought in to help the event pass safely by managing the number of people attending.

Emergency services, local authorities and transport operators have been planning for the celebrations for many months, and are warning against complacency.

There remain serious concerns about overcrowding in the narrow streets of Lewes and people are being asked not to travel to the event.

Superintendent Howard Hodges said: “Public safety is our priority, and that’s why we’re urging everyone to stay local this bonfire night.

“Whilst recognising the tradition of Lewes Bonfire night, it is important the event held – and those attending – are kept safe.

“In order to achieve this, a wide range of partners have worked with the bonfire societies to put practical measures in place. This includes road and rail restrictions, which are designed to reduce the number of people coming to Lewes in order to avoid overcrowding.

“We appreciate there will be some disruption on the night as a result, however this has been done in the best interests of public safety. We have also publicised these measures months in advance to ensure people can plan ahead for this one night of the year.

“There are a number of other events taking place around Sussex and we’re urging everyone to attend an event near them.”

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

“Fireworks can look spectacular but they can also be extremely dangerous if not handled properly.  We strongly urge people to find local firework events and displays rather than releasing fireworks in their gardens. There are many locally organised firework displays across Sussex for local communities to attend rather than attending one single event such as Lewes, which can become over-crowded very quickly.”

Ed Hele from Lewes District Council said:
“Lewes is a wonderful town but it was not built to accommodate large crowds. We work hard to try to keep everyone as safe as possible and we support the calls for people who don’t live in Lewes to go to more local events.”

Road closures will be put in place around the town centre from 16.45 pm on 5 November 2019 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)

Rail travel

Plans for rail travel on 5 November are as follows:
• 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 call at the above stations until the first timetabled trains on the morning of 6 November.

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.




Wednesday, October 2, 2019

No complacency for Lewes Bonfire celebrations


Emergency Services and other agencies are warning against complacency as final preparations are made for Lewes Bonfire celebrations.

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.”

Each year a multi-agency group of emergency services, local authorities and transport operators works together to put measures in place to reduce the risk to the public. 

The planning meant the event passed off without major incident last year however, with 78 people hurt last year, four arrests and 20 recorded offences, there is no complacency for 2019.

Over-crowding is a real possibility and needs to be managed carefully. Busy 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 5 November to help manage the numbers of people in the town.

These can be found at: www.esfrs.org/staylocal along with details of local events.

Road closures

Road closures will be put in place around the town centre from 16.45 pm on 5 November 2019 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)

Rail travel 

Plans for rail travel on 5 November are as follows: 

• 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 call at the above stations until the first timetabled trains on the morning of 6 November.

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 5, 2019

Travel alert! Lewes Bonfire Night just eight weeks away

Emergency Services and other organisations are reminding people that Lewes Bonfire night celebrations mean changes to train services and a number of road closures.

The measures are part of plans to keep the event as safe and trouble-free as possible.
Lewes Bonfire night presents a unique challenge to the multi-agency group tasked with ensuring public safety.

The tens of thousands of people expected in the town mean there is a real danger from over-crowding.

In addition the parades and displays by the Bonfire Societies involve significant amounts of fireworks,

Last year, the operation to keep people safe involved hundreds of staff from emergency services, the local council and other organisations. 

There were four arrests on the night, 20 recorded offences in the town and 78 people were hurt during the celebrations. Many of these were hurt on the procession routes and by bangers or other fireworks. Over-crowded streets make it harder for emergency services to reach those in need of help.

This is why the multi-agency group cannot be complacent and have taken a number of actions ahead of the event.

As with previous years, a series of travel restrictions will be introduce for the 5th November 2019 to help reduce the risks of a serious incident. 

These are being confirmed 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 and not to attend Lewes Bonfire Night.

Find out about local events: https://lewesbonfire2019.blogspot.com/p/local-events.html

Road

Road closures will be put in place around the town centre from 16.45 pm on 5 November 2019 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)

Rail travel 

Plans for rail travel on 5th November are as follows: 
• 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 call at the above stations until the first timetabled trains on the morning of the 6th November. 

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.


Friday, June 28, 2019

Details of Lewes Bonfire operation are revealed

Changes to train services and a number of road closures have been confirmed as part of plans to keep Lewes Bonfire night as safe and trouble-free as possible.

The event attracts tens of thousands of people to the town, prompting concerns about over-crowding, particularly in popular areas such as the War Memorial.

Combined with significant amounts of fireworks, this presents a unique challenge to the multi-agency group tasked with ensuring public safety.

Last year, the operation to keep people safe involved hundreds of staff from emergency services, the local council and other organisations.

As with previous years, a series of travel restrictions will be introduce for the 5th November 2019 to help reduce the risks of a serious incident.

These are being confirmed 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.

Road

Road closures will be put in place around the town centre from 16.45 pm on 5 November 2019 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.

Rail 

Plans for rail travel on 5th November are as follows:
  • 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 the 6th November