Saturday working for gas men

Three men work on Saturday morning in Rye on the largest gas works hole at the entrance to Bridge Place (with two of the men partially hidden on the right behind the barriers) - and this partially cuts into one side of the main road. However the workmen's van is the only sign of activity on the actual bridge, and possibly could have been parked elsewhere.

Gas contractors were busy on Saturday morning, April 4, on the works in Bridge Place to update the gas mains, and the largest excavation took an 18 foot bite out of one side of the road next to Rye’s railway bridge.

Traffic was diverted, but one health worker in NHS uniform early in the day at 7am only apparently wanted to get up Rye Hill – and no further. So, having been told about the diversion round Appledore, she parked her car and walked up the long hill with a large knapsack, possibly heading for either the hospital or sheltered housing at the top of Rye Hill in Rye Foreign.

However at 11am another driver passed me in Deadmans Lane going the wrong way in order to reach Rye Hill from The Grove. Vehicles coming from the other direction had fortunately on that occasion paused at the entrance to Deadmans Lane.

But, please note, East Sussex County Council is allowing you on the night of April 20 to drive along Deadmans Lane in both directions between 11pm and 6am because of work on The Grove level crossing.

The large excavation at the entrance to Bridge Place means the only access now is by the footpath (at the back in the centre). Further down though (near the front of the picture) the excavations became increasingly smaller leaving unused space for the contractors’ kit. As the photo above shows the large excavation at the entrance to Bridge Place will totally block East Sussex Highways staff who announced yesterday that they would be doing drainage work in Bridge Place on Monday and Tuesday – as the only access at that point is on the footpath.

Further back down Bridge Place the excavations (as the photo shows) take up much less space, and could perhaps have been used for the contractors equipment (with better planning) instead of closing the main road.

Indeed the area of the main road, now dug up to expose a maze of pipes – old and new – is about the same size as recent works in Udimore Road by the Mason Road turning, when the kerb was replaced, and the path redone, by the bus stop.

In that instance unmanned traffic lights worked perfectly in organising single file traffic on a busy road, and one wonders why this was not seriously considered by East Sussex County Council’s Highways Department.

Indeed recent correspondence from the network managers SGN seems to blame ESCC for approving the closure on Rye Hill. However the sub-contractors seem to be getting on with the work, and a lengthy job seems to have got shorter and shorter…. so far. But watch this space.

In the meantime you have been warned. See photo below.

A large sign outside The Outside Inn gives a clue as to what’s around the corner – but was apparently ignored.

Image Credits: Nick Forman .


  1. 6.45 a.m Monday April 6. Work has progressed on the complex maze of pipes at the mouth of Bridge Place, but the main road up Rye Hill remains closed. Bridge Place can only be accessed on foot at its entrance, but the gas works cease at No 6, roughly half way down, and there is an open area (possibly the size of a tennis court) which could have been used by the contractors. The railway bridge remains shut, but 4 coach trains were operating from Rye station – without many obvious customers.

  2. Earlier today, Tuesday April 7, Cllr Paul Osborne heard from our MP Sally-Ann Hart that gas network organiser SGN expects to have the work completed at Bridge Place, the plant clear (from Military Road) and the roads (over the railway bridge in Rye and up Rye Hill) re-opened by this Friday, the Bank Holiday before Easter and the start of the long weekend.


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