Countdown to travel chaos

Vehicles queuing from the top of Rye Hill and beyond

Next Monday, March 23, roadworks to replace a gas main at the junction of Military Road with Rye Hill will start and then, two weeks later, to replace another section of the gas main on the town side of the railway bridge are due to begin.

Lights will control traffic going up and down the hill from Monday and traffic into Military Road will be diverted via Appledore – though many are expected to take the shortcut along Houghton Green Lane as they have done before when there were roadworks on Rye Hill.

When the roadworks (and full details with maps are on the Rye Town Council website) move down to the railway bridge completely blocking off Rye Hill traffic is supposed to be diverted via Hastings and Northiam.

However those who know the area better than the East Sussex County Council (ESCC) Highways Department will probably take the Udimore Road (much used by heavy traffic trying to avoid Hastings), cutting off a corner and cutting journey time to Peasmarsh to around 35 minutes.

But how the buses to Northiam and Tenterden – or indeed the community bus which just goes round the outskirts of Rye – will get round the roadworks and provide any sort of service is still unclear.

Those able to walk may be able to get round the obstruction to the doctors and hospital on Rye Hill – but those who do not have cars and can not afford a lengthy taxi journey face major problems.

But the gas networkwork company has been ignoring these problems since November and there are no only two weeks left for East Sussex Council to take public concerns seriously.

Health concerns are however now a national issue so ESCC may be forced to step in at the last minute to finally resolve these problems – which were raised back in November.

Image Credits: Rye News staff .


  1. We need Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance on the case, because they display common sense but they’re both quite busy at present.
    We despair at some politicians and some journalists, who just like to score points.
    Extensive work to replace pipes along the A259 through west St Leonards, past Bo-Peep, has been ongoing for months under traffic light control. The road has been kept open throughout, even when the works were under the narrow railway bridge at the bottom of Filsham Road.
    So management of health and safety was possible there, to keep traffic flowing and to minimise disruption. Why not on Rye Hill?
    A couple of Saturdays’ ago, when the barriers were stuck down at the level crossing, vehicles turned around and went the wrong way up Deadmans Lane. That was two-way traffic without any controls. Doesn’t common sense suggest that traffic light management could be used to allow temporary use of the lane? Some parking in the Grove could be suspended to allow queueing.
    Disappointingly, Deadmans Lane is still in an appalling condition but repairs have been promised!!

  2. Actually Geoffrey some of us were helping chaos in deadmans lane,after the barriers failed,as it was utter chaos at the time,with people desperate to get out of the surrounding area,we stopped people entering the lane,and helped people out of it, i did wonder how some of them passed their test, seeing their terrible skills of reversing out onto Rye hill, but we helped where we could,until the police arrived and took over.

  3. Because the Gas company are so ignorant and do not have the common courtesy to even respond to any communication from the Council in Rye I think that we have every reason to expect a decent conclusion from this ignorant company and to expect more from ESCC who one would expect to have more knowledge of the area which from their diversion suggestions makes me wonder about their knowledge or do they care ?

  4. As I sit here and watch the news I begin to realise just how unimportant a lot of our trivial day to day worries really are.
    Hopefully the service suppliers including the gas company will maintain their services so we at least have the ability to keep warm, have food, support our families safely come out the other side.


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