Will signs protect Landgate Arch?

IMPROVED road signs should prevent Rye’s historic Landgate Arch from being damaged by HGVs.

A number of lorries had damaged the structure trying to squeeze through the narrow gap to get into the High Street, leading to a campaign for clearer road signs.

The new signs have finally been put in place and have been welcomed by John Bragge who led the campaign,

Mr Bragge, who owns an antiques shop opposite the Arch, had warned that heavy vehicles could cause permanent damage to the historic Rye monument.

He said: “It is good that some action has been taken at long last.”

The cost of the signs and where they should be positioned were the cause of a number of debates at Rye Town Council which saw the issue dragging on for more than a year.

During that time the road through Rye was blocked for an afternoon when a massive foreign HGV jack-knifed while trying to get through the Arch; a coach carrying school children shattered its window trying to squeeze through the gap and a bollard was demolished by an HGV.

Sat Nav devices have been blamed for HGV’s trying to get through the Arch and some councillors were of the opinion that the signs will not prevent this.

Rye Rother councillor Paul Osborne said, at the time: “If drivers want to try and squeeze through I don’t see how a sign will prevent them.”

Mr Bragge said: “We will have to see but the signs will certainly help.

“It was so bad in the past that you were always waiting for the next incident to happen. It caused absolute chaos down here at times.”

A confusing sign, which showed a width restriction at Landgate has also been removed. The sign led to vehicles turning through the Arch instead.

Signs warning of the narrow gap have also been installed at Tower Street and on the A259 at the western entrance to the town.