Historic cobbles restored

WORK is finally underway to repair Rye’s damaged cobbles streets.

The poor state of historic cobbled streets at Mermaid Street, West Street, Conduit Hill, Watchbell Street and Church Street, have been a major concern of Rye Town Council.

The streets have been damaged by heavy vehicles over the years and up until now it has been hard to find someone with the specialist skills to repair them.

Rye councillor Mary Smith said: “The cobbles are not in a good state and it detracts from the heritage and historic beauty of the town.”

Now East Sussex County Council is taking action to save and restore the cobbles.

Work is currently underway and will take three to four weeks.

West Street will be closed for works today (Friday). The other roads will remain open but there will be some traffic management including priority working whilst work is carried out.

Councillor Keith Glazier, Deputy Leader of East Sussex County Council and Lead Member for Community and Resources said: “I am pleased that we are able to go in to repair these historic cobbled streets. They are part of the fairytale charm that attracts people to visit Rye.

“Over the summer, we have been temporarily repairing holes in these roads with tarmac so as to avoid longer works that would disrupt the roads during the tourist season. We are now going in to replace the cobbles before the Christmas shopping starts in earnest.

“Our highways engineers have been experimenting with adding different colours of dye to the mortar to remove some of the brightness and make sure that the new cobbles fit into their surroundings. Cobbled streets are a rarity in East Sussex and it is important we look after them.”

Rye Town Council has called for stricter parking enforcement to prevent vehicles parking illegally on West Street and damaging the cobbles.