Gillian Keegan MP, for Chichester, has submitted an application to the Department for Transport as part of their Roadside Vehicle Noise Measurement project which is looking into tackling noise pollution from vehicles. Gillian’s application has asked for an acoustic camera to be installed along the A272.
The site sits at the heart of the South Downs National Park and transects the Chichester constituency east to west, from Wisborough Green to the A3 Petersfield. There are multiple villages either situated on the A272 or surrounding it that are impacted by the noise. Due to the hills of the South Downs, the noise echoes around the area and can be heard 2-3 miles away from the road. The MP’s application builds on the work of an action group that was set up Cllr. Alan Sutton, to bring around 20 parish councils, district and county councillors, local MP’s Gillian Keegan and Andrew Griffiths, senior police officers, and other interested parties together to tackle the issues. The group worked together to look at measures such as highway engineering measures, community speed watch, and community engagement to try and work towards solutions.
This work encouraged the ongoing action taken by Sussex Police through Operation Downsway to target anti-social driving. Furthermore, a Sussex Safer Roads camera van has run several operations at this location which has supported a reduction in speeding and noise along with regular patrols by marked and unmarked police cars and motorcycles.
Gillian’s application stated that “an acoustic camera is one of the things that would greatly assist with this ongoing work.” The MP’s submission was supported by Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, as well as, Chief Constable, Jo Shiner, District Commander Nick Bowman, West Sussex County Council, and the South Downs National Park Authority.
Gillian said: “I have been working with communities, councillors, and Sussex Police for several years to reduce the impact noisy vehicles have across the South Downs. All of us from the area know how loud and dangerous drivers can be on our rural roads, rapidly and recklessly accelerating, overtaking, and speeding around corners. This acoustic camera could be a useful enforcement tool to combat this issue, so I am extremely grateful to everyone involved in supporting my application to be a part of the trial.”