A new campaign is launching in Chichester District south of the Downs1 to tackle the troublesome issue of excessive noise from anti-social driving.
The issue of noisy vehicles often driven at speed or with the intention of making a lot of noise, has been raised by residents with the Police and Councillors for many years. With the onset of Covid lockdowns, noise issues got much worse and are still at a high level.2
County, District, City and Parish Councillors have come together to set up a new group called RAVEN which stands for Residents Against Vehicle Excessive Noise.
The aim is to work with the Police and other authorities to gather data on the problem so that the police can better target their resources and reduce this blight on residents’ lives. The group has put together an online form which it hopes residents from all over the Chichester District south of the Downs will use to register and record their concerns:
The form is also available in a paper version that Councillors and residents will be able to distribute to those people who don’t have access to the internet. If residents don’t get a paper copy through their door, please contact your local Parish Council who should be able to get you a copy.
Sarah Sharp, City, District and County Councillor for Chichester South, who brought the group together said, “Residents in my division are very much affected by noise from vehicles. Anti-social driving and riding means that many of my residents find it difficult to sleep. This affects their ability to work and their mental health. I set up RAVEN in December 2021 and it has been a positive experience to work with my fellow Councillors on this topic. We know that other areas of the country do things differently. We are keen to work collaboratively on noise reduction so that the Police know this is a priority issue for our residents and for us. We know that the Police help communities who help themselves and I would encourage residents to fill in the form we have put together either online or on paper.”
Heather McDougall is a Parish Councillor from Donnington who has been active in leading the local Traffic Action Group “DonTAG” for quite a few years. She said: “Excessive vehicle noise is not only an environmental nuisance but is linked to health problems such as sleep disturbance and stress. With residents increasingly highlighting the negative impact that frequent noisy anti-social driving is having on their lives, now is the time to focus on this issue and take action to tackle it.”
Martyn Bell, a District Councillor who covers Chichester Central ward, commented, “I can often hear motorbike noise and noisy vehicles in the City not just right near the A27. We get reports from residents from all over the City who are unable to relax in their gardens or unable to sleep at night. They tell us that they can follow the noise of the vehicles from junction to junction on the A27 which is pretty horrendous when actually the residents live in the north of the City. This issue doesn’t only affect residents who live near the A27 but residents who live on arterial roads are very much affected too”.
Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Communities at Chichester District Council, works closely with the Police and added, “As spring approaches and the weather improves, we know that motorcyclists will be keen to get out and about in the sunshine. So, it is a really good time for RAVEN to launch their campaign to raise awareness of this serious noise issue. Everyone who lives south of the Downs in the Chichester District and who is troubled with noise from vehicles is encouraged to fill in the online form to help the Police on this matter to better target their resources.”
For more information please contact:
Sarah Sharp, County Councillor for Chichester South, email@example.com 07789 843556
Heather McDougall, Parish Councillor for Donnington firstname.lastname@example.org 07841400619 – please contact Heather about changes or issues to do with the online and paper form
Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Communities at CDC, email@example.com
Martyn Bell, District Councillor for Chichester Central, firstname.lastname@example.org 01243 539806
1 Please note that a group working on similar issues north of the Downs has been working with considerable success on the issues of noise along the A272 and in Wisborough Green and other villages.
2 During lockdown the free and relatively uncongested roads encouraged people to go for leisure rides at speed in the local area. Noisy vehicles were heard by residents to be much more prevalent throughout the summer of 2020 and this issue has not gone away. Local residents worked on contacting the Police on a regular basis but we hope that by setting up a more formal group RAVEN will draw on the work that was done liaising with Parish Councils and build on it in a constructive and more organised way.