Deadman’s damage


Dear Sirs

Some person has tried to drive down Deadman’s Lane who obviously should not be driving as they have taken out our fence which has only just been repaired after the tree damage (pictured above). As this caused a small traffic jam, which I was stuck in, somebody must have seen the incident, but nobody left any details. Thanks.

[Note from the Editor in Chief: As the fence (which separates a flower bed outside the first house in Lancaster Court from the pavement) is in bits, the vehicle involved must have mounted the pavement and been going at some speed – and possibly made a late turn into this short cut around Rye’s one way system.

The lane is much used, by vehicles going both down and up Rye Hill – and particularly at school time, for parents dropping their children off at the Love Lane school complex.

However, as has been pointed out before, the lane is very narrow, but is used by pedestrians as well as cars because a footpath from higher up Rye Hill ends at the lane.

When I walked through the lane earlier this week to look at the mangled fence I had to lean back against a barbed wire fence to let the largest 4×4 cars squeeze past – and some drivers were markedly unhappy about being forced to slow down.

Nevertheless there is scope, at little cost, to put in a footpath without endangering the privacy of other residents and I wonder whether we have to wait for the highways authority, East Sussex County Council, to be sued for criminal negligence because someone is injured or killed before any action is taken. Charles Harkness]


Photo: Rye News Library

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  1. A footpath would be very welcome. Another house, with access directly onto Deadman’s Lane is being built – surely this should be another trigger for a footpath?

  2. Perhaps the property on the south side can be persuaded to remove and trim back some trees, and donate a strip of land sufficient for a footpath that will accommodate a wheelchair.
    Charles Harkness is quite right: ESCC Highways are legally in trouble if there is a bad accident in the Lane. They have neglected to specify a footpath on any building permissions.

  3. I would humbly suggest that it is very unwise and also unnecessary to walk either up or down Deadmans lane, except for a short distance at the Love Lane end as there are perfectly good alternatives. Either the footpath up or down Rye Hill the 268 or the “no through road” just to the North of Deadmans Lane and the foot path at the end leading into the lane. I lived in Mill Road for many years and would never have considered using that route as a pedestrian.

  4. John Howlett
    Do you realy believe the owner of the property would be willing to do this? It is alleged the fence that is in a disgusting state is not their responsibility?

  5. ESCC has surveyed Deadman’s Lane, and as the average traffic speed is low the risk assessment concluded that there wasn’t any real justification for a footpath. As with other suggested traffic projects such as a reworking of the pedestrian crossing by the station it almost requires a serious event for action to occur. Furthermore the statutory consultation cost for proposals is very high, perhaps up to £90, and with both Rother and ESCC under severe financial constraints it simply won’t happen. That said, the Highways Forum has the Lane on its radar. Sadly hit and run drivers will continue to plague us. CCTV is a possible solution but the legal constraints are infuriating.

  6. The perimeter of the property on the south side is in an appalling state, surely Rye town Council could get involved, to persuade the owner to address this unsightly problem.

  7. Section 164 of the The Highways At 1980 makes it clear it is the duty of the Highways Authority (aka East Sussex County Council) to issue a notice to the owner of the land on the south side of Deadman’s Lane to take down the barbed wire and other spiked objects that are causing a ‘nuisance’ to the public. In this instance ‘nuisance’ means ‘danger’.

    That ESCC have failed to do so despite the public (which includes people who don’t know that for their safety they should avoid this road!) being at risk for several years from the dozens of yards of tangled barbed wire and rusting metal spikes that abut and possibly stick into the public highway is inexplicable. After all in the last few years ESCC Highways have had to consider and then make the road one way, and they have had to consider the planning applications for the houses on the north side of the road. They cannot have inspected the Lane every time with their eyes wide shut… can they?

    Equally troubling is the land owner’s failure to consider the public’s safety ahead of any order by ESCC.

    All these people must have bigger things on their plates.

  8. Walking Deadmans Lane does make for an interesting walk but its the speed of the drivers using the road which makes it dangerous, there are many courteous drivers who are happy to slow down but unfortunately they are often out numbered by rude ones.Speed is a problem and its a shame that Rother will wait for a death to occur before acting. But on a positive note the perpetrator came forward as did a witness and the fence is being repaired again.


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