As Rye News was published Thursday, April 2, the railway bridge in Rye had been closed off (see above photo) and it was no longer possible to drive up Rye Hill from the town.
However vehicles were starting to arrive at the closure point from Skinners roundabout early in the day and were being forced to either turn round or reverse back from the junction of the Landgate with Fishmarket Road.
Why is not clear – but it may have been poor or inadequate signposting.
The re-opening of Military Road had earlier been reported as going to happen from overnight March 31/April 1, but it was clearly delayed.
However readers commenting on that earlier story reported that yesterday, as a result of the closure, traffic was using Deadmans Lane in both directions (despite it being one way) and it had been suggested on more than one occasion, including the town meeting, by town councillor Pat Hughes that two way traffic lights could be used to control traffic in Deadmans Lane.
East Sussex County Council leader Keith Glazier appeared to dismiss this as a possibility at the time, but it is now happening in an uncontrolled way – and such measures as temporary traffic lights are often used when single lane traffic is necessary because of roadworks.
The photos below show, in turn, that Rye Hill did not close as forecast on April 1, or certainly not at the start of the day.
And the railway bridge and Rye Hill remained open for much of the day.
However Military Road did eventually re-open
However the access to Rye over the bridge was then blocked
….. at both ends of the bridge.
But nothing seemed to be actually happening on the bridge itself yesterday though the contractor’s makeshift depot with various bits of kit remains in Military Road.
As the photo above shows however there are a string of excavations right along Bridge Place to the railway line and a point opposite to where the closest Military Road excavation seemed to be.
So why is the railway bridge closed off if, apparently, no work is being done on that stretch of road, unless the sole reason is to make it easier for the contractor to get between his temporary depot in Military Road and Bridge Place?
And if this is the case, why could not a traffic light system be used to facilitate the contractor’s movements while maintaining the traffic flow?
And, indeed, why did East Sussex County Council’s Highways Department fail to give proper consideration to the short term use of Deadmans Lane, and to questions and concerns first raised by Councillor Hughes last November, because the photos above tell a story which raises questions that will probably not go away – and which readers are already raising.
The only plus in the saga is probably the coronavirus because it has reduced traffic movements, and the number of people travelling by either car or bus, but ESCC did not know that would happen when they approved these works.
Image Credits: Nick Forman , Seana Lanigan .