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‘I cannot thank people enough’ Crawley mother sends thanks to residents and emergency services after Hawth Ave bus crash

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Residents helped emergency services treat injured passengers at the side of the road.

It was meant to be a lovely day out with her partner, four young children and their grandmother.

A quick trip on the bus from the town centre to Tilgate Park was all it was to take until things changed in seconds.

A Crawley mother who was on the Route 2 Metrobus and who has asked to be kept anonymous recounts the moments of the accident.

“I was standing on the bus with my two youngest in buggies and my older two sat with their Grandmother.

Suddenly I heard a bang and glass shattering and I was thrown to the floor. There was screaming from all the passengers and we were all covered in glass including all my children.

Her partner added:

“I turned round to speak to my partner and I saw the van heading straight towards us and saw it collide with the bus.

He was going pretty quick. No attempt to stop, no skid marks.

Then the adrenaline kicked in and there was panic everwhere. It took a good couple of minutes to open the emergency exits.

When I got out and looked over at the van I could see the driver still inside. I helped people off the bus and helped move them back away. One guy stayed on the bus to support the bus driver.

It took a good couple of minutes to open the emergency exits.”

The mother also added:

There was a desperate struggle to open the emergency exits which took a little while to do. When we got out you could see petrol dripping away but luckily the fire brigade arrived in time.”

The young mother managed to escape with only cuts and bruises and her partner suffered torn tissue in his arm. Luckily the children were uninjured.

But it was the actions of the locals nearby that really touched the mother and her family saying:

“I can’t thank people enough. To all the people that were nearby that offered water, thankyou! To the lady nearby who filled up my babies milk bottle so I could feed him, thankyou!

I really want to thank everyone who helped and hope everyone who was involved in the accident a speedy recovery.

The emergency services were all amazing and I cannot thank them enough.”

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Crawley library in danger of losing opening hours as County Council choose money saving over services

Another public consultation and this time it is about reducing opening hours for the library.

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Crawley library users are being asked to share their thoughts on proposed budget savings which would see a reduction in opening hours at Crawley Library.

The consultation running from 9 October to 13 November 2019 is, according to the council, aimed to help inform the decision due to be taken by West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member, Jacquie Russell, in November. 

The suggested savings include for Crawley to:

Reduce the evening opening hours in the library by one hour (from 7pm to 6pm) from April 2020.

This change, along with the same reduction in hours at three other Sussex libraries along with the ceasing of the mobile library service would apparently result in a total year on year saving of £175,000.

Jacquie Russell, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Communities, said:

“Since becoming cabinet member, I have often been asked about what will happen to libraries across the county. As I have said before, we need to look at doing things in a more affordable way, but ultimately my aim is to preserve the core of the library service.

“With the suggested savings being proposed, we hope that the other services we have on offer at libraries across West Sussex will diminish any negative impact to users. 

“However, I still want to hear the thoughts of our library users by way of this consultation, especially those who are specifically affected by the proposed budget savings, as this will help to shape and inform my decision in November.”

But Crawley residents will be all too wary of consultations and how they can be just lip service and completely ignored as recently happened with the consulation over the Post Office move into County Mall.

Crawley MP Henry Smith said:

“When West Sussex County Council Leader over a decade ago, I was pleased to procure and open the new Crawley Library, which ever since has been an important community resource. I would encourage all who care about our library to engage with the Council’s consultation and call for evening opening hours not to be reduced.”

You have until 13 November 2019 to have your say.

To find out more and fill in the consultation, visit haveyoursay.westsussex.gov.uk/libraries/libraryoffer/

CN24 approached Jacquie Russell for a guarantee that if the results of the consultation came back that there was a majority against the reduction in hours that she would keep the library open till 7. A response has not yet been received.

But West Sussex County Council did respond saying:

“This is a live consultation and we encourage residents to have their say before the deadline of 13 November. After the consultation has closed, the responses will be taken into consideration before any decision is made.”

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