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.”
Once the police arrived the man appeared calm as he was questioned.
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.”
‘I don’t care it’s not my emergency’ says Horley resident after putting note on Police car responding to emergency
Surrey police have posted a photo of the note that was left by an irate resident.
Officer were rushing to reports of a distressed resident who was potentially being beaten up and also to an address where a child was.
The officers had parked in one residents space and upon returning to the vehicle found a note on the car.
Officer spoke to the resident and explained they were responding to an emergency but the response was:
“I DON’T CARE IT’S NOT MY EMERGENCY”
Surrey police have since said:
“We apologise for our inconsiderate parking during a potentially life threatening or death situation and we will try and be more aware next time. #SorryNotSorry”
In response to the post on their Facebook page other residents have added their own comments about the note saying:
“Park on my drive any time! We should support our emergency services not insult or criticise them”
“Imagine how miserable you’d have to be to act like that.“