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Shock and horror as coach forces way onto pavement and blocks bank in Crawley

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Panic set into pedestrians and bank workers this afternoon as a coach forced its way onto the pavement outside NatWest Bank in Crawley.

At just after 1pm a loud horn could be heard as a huge United minibuses and coaches coach forced its way through pedestrians who were walking along the Broadway.
More news: Exclusive – driver of coach was making a protest

Seconds later a man emerged from the side door and casually began walking away.

NatWest staff ran to the entrance to see what was happening.

One staff member who asked not to be named said, “I thought we were being raided. We even had a couple of our customers say the coach almost hit them. They were clearly shaken up.

Several members of the public then began to follow the man as he walked down the Boulevard before heading up London Road towards the leisure park.

The police were inundated with calls from the public as they continued to follow the man.

After making his way into the leisure park he emerged again and sat quietly on a bench opposite the Clydesdale Bank where an off duty ambulance worker pulled up and approached him.

Seconds later three police cars arrived.

Speaking to CN24 one man who saw what happened said,

“I was in shock and still am. I left my wife and son and made after the man but I didn’t have a phone. I knew the bank staff had called the police so was just hoping they were going to arrive quickly.”

Police catch up with the driver and question him.

Once the police arrived the man appeared calm as he was questioned.

More news: Exclusive – driver of coach was making a protest

Police began a search of the coach as crowds started to form outside the bank.

Unbelievably a traffic warden even put a parking ticket on the coach in the middle of all the proceedings.

NatWest has said they will be closed until the police are able to move the coach.

Sussex Police said:

At 1.18pm on Monday (18 June) police were called to The Boulevard, Crawley, after a 51-seater coach had been driven slowly on to the pavement outside the NatWest Bank, blocking the entrance.

Nobody was hurt and no damage was reported.

it appears that the driver, a 55-year-old Crawley man, who was the sole occupant of the coach, which he owns, has some financial dispute with the bank and this was a protest in relation to that dispute.

There is no evidence of any criminal intent, and the man, who walked off but was detained near the scene, is being reported for possible prosecution for highway obstruction and related offences.

Arrangements are being made for the coach to be removed.

A NatWest spokesman said:

“We can confirm an incident took place this afternoon outside the NatWest Crawley branch. Fortunately no one was hurt in the incident and the branch has since reopened. Police attended the scene and we are cooperating with them in their investigation. If customers have any concerns they can contact us via telephone banking or they can visit the branch.”

More news: Exclusive – driver of coach was making a protest

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Goodbye summer! Winter hours begin at West Sussex waste sites

New opening times start in October.

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From 1 October 2018, winter opening hours at all 11 Household Waste Recycling Sites (HWRSs) in West Sussex will come into effect.

The opening hours for all sites will be 9am until 4pm and times will be in place until 31 March 2019.

More news: West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service search for on-call firefighters

There will be changes to the days some sites are open. Burgess Hill, Chichester, Worthing, and Crawley will open for six days a week during the winter months. Chichester will close on Tuesdays and Burgess Hill, Worthing, and Crawley will close on Thursdays.

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said:

“The changes are based around the demand for services at different times of the year.

“Reducing opening hours during the quieter winter allows us to keep sites open for longer in the summer months when demand is at its highest.”

Further information on Household Waste Recycling Sites can be found at www.recycleforwestsussex.org

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