Crash damages Medieval wall at Winchelsea

Winchelsea Crash SUS-150804-073130001
Winchelsea Crash SUS-150804-073130001

Part of an historic medieval building at Winchelsea was damaged by a car crashing into it during the early morning on Easter Saturday.

It left a huge hole in a side-wall of 14th century St Johns Hospital ruins.

Richard Comotto, a member of Winchelsea Archaeological Society and former councillor, believes rat-running is still a huge problem in the ancient town.

He says vehicles regularly drive through the centre of Winchelsea to cut off a corner of the main A259 road.

Mr Comotto said: “You have to wonder if the car was observing the 30mph speed limit and was the driver aware of the big chevron on the corner or the previous warning sign?

“How will Winchelsea’s ancient monuments survive incidents like this?”

Last year the Rye Observer reported that roads in the centre of Winchelsea were being damaged by rat-running vehicles which had left them scarred and with deep pot-holes.

Repair work had to be carried out to mend deep ruts in the road near Greyfriars and the road surface of High Street and German Street was in a poor state.

Residents have had long standing concerns over the level of traffic using the town a rat-run instead of using the main A259.

With police backing they have even taken to the streets with speed cameras to record the numbers of speeding vehicles.

The drivers then receive a warning letter from police and could face prosecution for repeat offences.

As far back as 2006 Mr Comotto was raising concerns about the number of accidents in the town.

He said: ““Real or perceived speeding has been revealed by crime surveys and police consultation as a major factor in preventing people in rural areas from enjoying their environment.

“There are problems with Strand Gate and New Gate getting hit by oversized traffic ignoring height and width restrictions. Some lorries get stuck in the Strand Gate.”