RYE MP Amber Rudd is backing a campaign to reduce unsightly road sign clutter in the historic town of Winchelsea.
She recently met with members of Winchelsea Archaeological Society at the Pipewell/Ferry Gate to discuss the issue.
She said: “This arch is a dramatic boundary to our exceptionally beautiful town and we should ensure that the signage around it is safe, and harmonious with the arch itself.
“I welcome the steps being taken to reduce the signs around the arch so as to give visitors a better view, while keeping drivers safe.”
Also attending the recent site meeting was Richard Comotto and Laurence Tiger, of Winchelsea Archaeological Society and Daniel Cavaliere, Route Manager for Sussex from Balfour Beatty Mott McDonald, a joint venture service responsible for the management of the Highways Agency Area 4 network.
The purpose was to discuss what could be done to move the chevron signs a little further away from Winchelsea’s 14th century Pipewell/Ferry Gate at the top end of Ferry Hill on the A259.
Amber added: Winchelsea Archaeological Society is contributing to a community initiative to raise funds to conserve the Gate.
“The chevron signs are undoubtedly necessary to warn traffic of the approaching bend, but if they were relocated slightly, they would no longer be visually intrusive to this medieval gate.
“Mr Cavaliere accepted this point, but warned that it could be a lengthy and expensive process.
Mr Comotto and Mr Tiger said: “Our campaign started several years ago to remove the accumulation of unnecessary street signage that was blighting historic sites in Winchelsea.
“ We have managed to get 99 removed or combined. It has proved more difficult to deal with the ones up spoiling the Pipewell Gate but, with plans afoot to refurbish the gate, we hope the MP can persuade the Highways Agency.”
Amber said “I completely support the repositioning of the chevron signs to enable visitors to appreciate this significant historical monument free of the clutter of this modern signage.”
There have also been problems at Strand Hill on the other side of the town where the distinctive white hand-rails have looked in danger of sliding down the cliff.
Winchelsea residents have been proactive in addressing the problem of vehicles using the town as a rat-run. They established one of the first Speed Watch campaigns in the Rye area where residents monitor speeding cars.