BID comments on crowd control at Chichester lights switch on

No Caption ABCDE SUS-160621-141618003
No Caption ABCDE SUS-160621-141618003

The chairman of Chichester BID has promised to take ‘a very long hard look’ at crowd management for city events following yesterday’s lights switch on.

Colin Hicks leads the Business Improvement District, which organises the annual event to kickstart the Christmas season.

Ambulance in East Street

Ambulance in East Street

This year an ambulance had make its way through dense crowds to get to a patient near the Cross.

Mr Hicks said the BID would aim to spread the number of visitors over the whole of the Christmas period rather than on focussed days so everybody could come out and have a good time.

He added that the BID was committed to keeping events safe and secure and worked closely with emergency services, St Johns Ambulance and volunteer marshals.

He said: “In any incident, the police immediately take over from our own marshals and the Rotary have been organising volunteer marshals for the Christmas events for many years.

“But it’s true that when we get large crowds it’s very hard to manage.

“We’ve going to have a very long hard look at that.”

This year’s event was the last time fireworks will form part of the switch on celebrations, with major repairs due to start on Chichester Cathedral early next year.

A light show has been mooted as a likely replacement.

Mr Hicks said the event had had a good turnout and it was a matter of ‘managing success’.

He said: “A lot of the problem with a successful city like Chichester is it’s based on a layout that’s 2000 years old.

“It’s just very difficult to manage that many people in such a small space.

“I’m not blaming the Romans but times have moved on.”