Lion Street to be closed off

A sign announces the closure of Lion Street

Lion Street in Rye is to be closed – but when, why, and for how long? The current state of play yesterday lunchtime (Thursday, January 23) suggests that the motorist may be the last person to know about what is happening with roadworks in Rye – though the news outside Rye may be more accurate.

A lot of work is being done on maintaining the A259 this year and it will be closed overnight between Skinners Roundabout and Hastings from January 30 to February 7 and from February 24 to February 28 – and there should be well signposted diversions in place.

It will also be closed overnight on the Ashford side between Camber Road and Rectory Lane (towards Ashford) between February 10 and March 7.

Within Rye itself however the picture is less clear and the town council has been seeking answers from East Sussex County Council (ESCC) – though not all their questions have been fully answered.

For example, ESCC roadside notices along The Mint, the High Street and Hilders Cliff said ESCC would be working on the kerbs this week in preparation for work on the road surface shortly; and the town council’s website repeated the same message – kerb repairs 20-27 January.

This work is necessary because, advises the Department for Transport, road laying machines need a continuous straight edge to work alongside. So you need to sort out the kerbs first.

However there was no evidence of any kerbs being touched on Thursday morning though the streets were expected to be kept car free overnight all week. Indeed the opposite was true as in a number of places kerbs were broken or sticking out, particularly where there were waste pipes.

And the county council is now saying the kerb work will start next week, and it is also saying that Lion Street will be closed, and there will be two way traffic in Market Street and East Street to cope with Lion Street being closed.

And in Market Street by the town hall, and at the top of Lion Street by the Kino cinema, there are signs warning of the road closure, specifically for the erection of scaffolding, next Monday and Tuesday January 27-28, alongside the George hotel, which has been closed since the fire in the summer.

This is required to secure the structure of the building say the site contractors Coniston and there will be no pedestrian access either down Lion Street for the two day period. This scaffolding in Lion Street will enable dormer windows in the north east corner of The George to be removed.

Site manager David Vidler’s note then seems to imply that the scaffolding will be removed from Lion Street once this work is complete.

However as Lion Street is part of a one way system East Sussex County Council has issued a temporary notice covering an emergency road closure to allow two way traffic in Market Street and East Street.

It is not clear though how those who live or have shops in Lion Street will be affected and what access they will have – particularly for deliveries.

Resurfacing work taking place in the station car park, no parking for coaches this week.

And to add to the general confusion there was a notice outside Rye railway station yesterday still saying the car park would be shut for two weekends (Jan 17-20, and Jan 24-27) between 11pm and 4am for resurfacing work.

However yesterday, Thursday, a week day, the car park was still being resurfaced and this has been going on for some days – and most of the coach bays (usually full on a market day) were either out of action or empty – but this may just reflect seasonal schedules.

Image Credits: Rye News library , Nick Forman .


  1. Work on replacing kerbs has certainly been happening on the High Street this week as any resident will be able to confirm. The noise and overnight working has been intolerable.
    The overnight work has been happening without any regard for the residents. ‘Standard’ rules of work starting at 8pm have been applied, when work on the High Street could quite easily have started at 5pm each evening this week.
    Having to shout out of your bedroom window at 2.30am asking contractors to be quiet is certainly not a look!
    It is also ridiculous that for most nights only 2 workmen were undertaking this work, when a team of contractors could have had all the work done in one or two nights.

  2. So often the way it seems these days – close the road, set up the lights, and then carry out the work at the contractor’s leisure. Isn’t it time that when such works are required, the site is “rented” to the contractor for a defined period, the “rental” cost for the job being built into the contractor’s cost submission? If they overrun, then the overrun rental becomes a real penalty – thus acting as an incentive to either not close the road in the first place, or to minimise the duration of works (by placing a heavier resource on the job, for example).

  3. Another prime example would be the B2165 between Beckley and Horns Cross, closed for mains renewal for up to 16 months – yes, 16 months (source ? At a time when this busy route may form part of the diversionary route from the A259 coast road which will also be closed. Who’s kidding who here – you could build an entire housing estate here over 16 months!? Original article here:

    “Some of you may have seen the roadside notices advising of planned road closure from just before Stream Lane and Horns Cross on 3 Feb for 26 weeks.

    I spoke to an agent at Southeast Water and it will be open for access as they are “doing the work in sections” but they don’t know how long it will take. She said originally (reading from an internal memo) it will take up to 16mths!

    Click here for pdf map of the planned works from February 3rd….pdf


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