Residents cut off after overnight road and level crossing closures

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Beachlands residents found themselves marooned after the Norman’s Bay level crossing and Coast Road were closed at the same time.

There have been a few occasions this week when hundreds of residents from Beachlands and Norman’s Bay found themselves with no entrance or exit access to their homes overnight.

During the closure, East Sussex Highways was redirecting traffic to Beachlands through Sluice Lane and over the level crossing, but this was not possible because the Norman’s Bay railway crossing was also closed – leaving residents cut off.

An East Sussex Highways spokesman said, “The roadworks in Coast Road were planned well in advance to coincide with work by Southern Gas Networks to replace gas mains under the road.

“Our work was originally due to be carried out in two stages but after the gas main work was completed early, we decided to carry out our work in one phase, to avoid disruption to residents over the Christmas period.

“Residents in the affected area were informed well in advance of the original and revised dates, while the work was also advertised on roadside information signs and in the local press.

“We also notified the emergency services and other affected parties of the planned closure and the signed diversion route via Sluice Lane.

“Although we have no jurisdiction over railway level crossings, we are in regular contact with Network Rail and did check with them that there were no planned level crossing closures during our roadworks and were advised as recently as Monday that none were planned.

“We have asked Network Rail to investigate why, having told us there were no planned closures, the level crossing was closed on three nights this week and why we were not notified. We have also requested they postpone any further closures until we have completed our roadworks.

“We appreciate that our roadworks will cause some disruption to residents but the nature of the road and the work being carried out means we have no alternative but to close the road. We’d ask residents to bear with us while this essential work is carried out.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said, “Although the closure of this level crossing took place on a private road, we recognise we should notify the public whenever we close a road. We are currently investigating how this incident could have happened and would like to apologise to everyone affected.”Do you live in Beachlands? Were you affected? Get in touch with your comments at eastbourne.herald@jpress.co.uk.