Defending the Strand Gate

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Oversized commercial vehicle coming through the Strand Gate, Winchelsea

Concern over damage being caused to the iconic Strand Gate in Winchelsea by oversized vehicles has prompted the town’s Community Speed Watch (CSW) group to begin a campaign to enforce the mandatory seven feet height restriction and six and a half feet width restriction intended to protect this 700-year old Scheduled Ancient Monument. “This is routinely ignored” says CSW. “The result is that large vehicles regularly clip the edge of the arches and occasionally get stuck. The size of some of the traffic coming and going through the gate is startling. How much punishment can the gate take before it is structurally compromised?”

Winchelsea’s Speed Watch volunteers are recording vehicles over seven feet high passing in and out of Winchelsea through the Strand Gate. and reporting them to Operation Crackdown. This is a Sussex police initiative tackling anti-social driving, which has sent letters to the registered drivers asking them to desist from using the gate. However, some fleets of commercial vehicles appear to be ignoring these letters, so Winchelsea Speed Watch has asked the police to take matters further.

Photo by Richard Comotto