Uckfield roadworks one-way system puts firefighters in Catch-22 situation

Uckfield News independent columnist Observer has clearly identified an issue for the emergency services if the proposed Southbound one way system is instigated for High Street works, writes fire station watch manager Ian Ritchie.


Uckfield Fire Station watch manager Ian Ritchie.

The ‘experts’ seem to think that the by-pass is the answer to everything but we all know how chaotic and choked that got last time around and certainly will again this time!

Fire appliances

I cannot speak for the Police and Ambulance other than to say that their resources are regularly spread far and wide and are often not even in the town. However, the Fire Station, while having instant access to the by-pass, is a base for a selection of fire appliances some of which require ‘on call’ firefighters to travel to the station to crew them.

Some of these firefighters live at the top of the town and have to travel SOUTH down the High Street to get to the station.

These fire crews cover the town’s large residential estates namely, Manor Park, Rocks Park and Church Coombe and outlying villages such as Buxted, Hadlow Down and High Hurstwood by travelling NORTH up the High Street.


So here is the ‘catch-22’ situation for the Fire Station: Some of the firefighters who perform ‘on call’ duties need the Southbound one way to crew the fire appliance but that fire appliance cannot then get up the High Street,

On the other hand, the fire engines need the Northbound one-way to get up the High Street but the firefighters cannot get to the station to crew them!

Extended attendance times

Probably the best option is one way Northbound to get one fire engine to an incident quickly in either direction while the few firefighters from the top of the town fight their way in by car, bicycle or foot, delaying the others.

However, whatever the option chosen by the ‘experts’ we will see eight months of extended attendance times due to a detour around the gridlocked bypass for either the fire engines or for the on call crew.

Read Observer’s comments here: Roadworks route poses risk to public, says Observer

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