LETTER: Chaos from festival again

Am I alone in wondering if the Earl of March is unaware of the chaos and distress he is causing the good citizens of Chichester?

I ask as my husband has, at another attempt today, finally managed to get to our daughter’s house in Surrey after an abortive two hour journey yesterday to fix a household emergency.

The Festival of Speed for those who attend it, provides wonderfully exciting, fun packed days and I sincerely wish them great enjoyment of this event.

We are told these Goodwood events bring a lot of money to businesses in this area which in turn benefits its residents! So my question is, exactly how many businesses are involved in these events. Perhaps Goodwood can let me know.

I do however believe that Chichester suffers from losses in relation to revenue at these times. Having just returned from my walk into and back from town (no buses could get through on time with many being cancelled), I saw for myself the almost abandoned car park at Northgate, the empty shops and the handful of people in the precinct.

Talking to those who did eventually manage to get to their shops and offices, the complaint was the same... ‘it’s very nice for the Goodwood coffers but we have been stuck in our cars unable to get to work on time, we are frustrated and angry and no one seems to care!’ This in addition to road closures, resulting in more time and extra mileage costs to get to our destinations.

Also to be remembered is the elderly lady of 88, on Friday, so distressed because she missed her hospital appointment by 90 minutes due to her bus being late and the young lady working in Boots, who took 50 mins to do a journey of four miles.

So question two, why were there no police to control the hot spots and why no temporary traffic lights to keep the traffic flowing at the various roundabouts in and around our city? Chichester was for several hours each day totally gridlocked with waiting times in never ending queues. This is totally unfair and unacceptable.

No one minds people having a good time but not at the expense of the majority of us who have no choice but to put up with the conditions imposed on them and this is what is happening.

Many business people I spoke to told me they lose revenue over the three day events in addition to the aggravation of getting in and out of town.

The amount they lose will be considerable, as locals, let alone visitors can’t get into town to do their shopping, banking or attend any other appointments they may have. Buses were sporadic as they clearly couldn’t keep to their usual time tables, car parks empty, (a shame for those who rely on cleaning the public’s cars while they are shopping) and I dread to think how much a taxi cost stuck on the gridlocked roads.

So all in all, bad news over a three day period for local business.

I wish the Earl of March would agree to experience a car journey into Chichester during his ever increasing number of events, to see and feel for himself what we have to put up with. A move towards improved planning strategies plus more neighbourly concern for the citizens of this city would be a start.

L I Heald

The Drive

Chichester