West Sussex residents urged to stay safe when outdoors this bank holiday weekend

With thousands of people visiting West Sussex’s countryside, parks and beaches last weekend, the county council is urging residents to stay safe over the bank holiday.

Friday, 22nd May 2020, 3:55 pm
Shoreham Beach, first day afetr lockdown. Pic Steve Robards SR2005134 SUS-200513-154403001

Popular beauty spots are attracting high numbers of visitors and more than 10,000 people have been to Buchan Country Park since the end of April.

In order to keep the public safe and ensure social distancing measures are maintained, the car park at Buchan Country Park will be closed over the Bank Holiday.

The car park at West Grinstead Station remains closed whilst the surfacing works on the Downs Link are carried out.

West Wittering Beach will operate a booking system when it opens on Wednesday May 27. Nearby roads are likely to be very busy and visitors are urged not to travel to the beach unless they have pre-booked a ticket.

Many beaches in West Sussex will not have lifeguards on duty and visitors are urged to stay safe near the water.

Anyone going outdoors this weekend should stay two metres from others and avoid crowds.

If using the countryside keep to public rights of way and be courteous to other visitors.

Cyclists should not use footpaths and be aware that shared routes may be crowded. They are being asked to slow down on shared use paths and give way to those on foot, wheelchair users and horse riders.

Take your litter home with you if no bins are available. Please keep your dog under control and clear up after them - any public bin will do.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is also warning of the increased risk of wildfires this bank holiday weekend.

The Met Office has elevated the fire severity index to Very High for the whole of the county today (Friday).

Conditions are forecast to ease slightly over the course of the weekend, but residents should take extra care when outdoors and not put themselves or others at risk.

Please think before discarding cigarettes, don’t leave BBQs unattended or burn garden waste. If you see a fire dial 999 immediately.

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We are proud to live in an area which attracts visitors but at the moment this is a cause for anxiety for many of our residents.

“It is still incredibly important for us to continue to practise social distancing. If you go out and about over the Bank Holiday, please be respectful of others and stay at least two metres apart from anyone who isn’t a member of your own household.”

Visitors to the South Downs National Park should check their COVID-19 Update before travelling.

More information on the latest government guidance can be found online.