Highways England have made an unusual intervention into the debate around safety and traffic build-up along Harbour Road at the junction of the A259.
Writing to Rother District Council’s planning officers following a number of planning applications by industrial units along Harbour Road, David Bowie from Highways England raised his concerns saying, ‘As you you may be aware, Harbour Road already suffers from congestion in the pm peak period with the queue backing past the narrow bridge.
“The additional impacts of the proposals currently being assessed will add to this existing problem and I take the view that anything on top of severe congestion, is in itself severe congestion. This has very obvious safety implications to the operation of the trunk road as well as the local road.’
Mr Bowie went on to say, ‘My view is that a junction upgrade is required to both mitigate the potential safety impacts as well as deal with the congestion on Harbour Road. I have concluded that the best way to achieve this is with the introduction of a mini roundabout similar to that which is already present at the A259 Kettle of Fish junction in Rye.’
Mr Bowie has recommended that the companies who have submitted the planning applications, including The Saltings, Old Mears, and Churchfields Industrial Estate, work together to come up with a solution or, ‘If, in the event, joint working to mutual benefits is not achievable’ Mr Bowie said, ‘then regrettably some if not all of the…applications are likely to receive an unfavourable response from Highways England.’
The recent planning application by Long Rake Spar, if passed, is likely to make the junction even busier.
Readers will remember that the dangerous junction of the A259 and Harbour Road was one of the reasons given by Natural England for not extending the proposed England Coast Path through Rye. This dangerous junction was also previously covered in Rye News in 2018.
Rye News contacted Councillor Keith Glazier, Rye’s representative on ESCC and leader of the council, and asked what plans the council had to work with Highways England to remodel the junction, including how to make it safe for walkers and cyclists and support the prime minister’s newly launched ‘Active Travel’ strategy. Councillor Glazier responded, “The A259 in this part of the county, including the junction at Harbour Road is part of the Strategic Road Network and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of Highways England. This means that it is not for the county council to plan for any improvements to this junction.”
Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy .