The bypass that never was.

By Brian Urry

"The best deal for Newhaven is a bypass, so let's not do that. It's much better to destroy the town centre."

I remember this well, but it's great to see the pamphlet again. My Dad was on the council at the time and almost everyone local -planners included - wanted that northern bypass and its high level bridge over the river- see the points evaluation scores. There were some objections, I believe the Golf Club weren't too happy about the road going across the course!

I think (lack of) Government money was eventually the deciding factor, but I could never understand how the bypass would supposedly have been cheaper than what we ended up with!

Update, January 2017: Whilst preparing some information on the start of the car ferry service in 1964, I came across a press cutting from 1963 that relates to this page, so I have added it.

Andy -Editor.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'CLEVER MEN FROM THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT!' page
Photo: Illustrative image for the 'CLEVER MEN FROM THE PLANNING DEPARTMENT!' page
Photo:1963 press cutting confirming the council's original plans

1963 press cutting confirming the council's original plans

Sussex Express

This page was added by Brian Urry on 24/01/2017.
Comments about this page

When I went back to Newhaven last year after a very long absence, I was very sad to see that the High Street as I remembered it, no longer existed, and I feel something has been lost. I realise that the traffic problem must become horrendous and perhaps a ring road was necessary, but somehow it seems to me, perhaps wrongly, that the heart of the town was negatively impacted.

By Lily Blin (Canada)
On 17/09/2011

Lily is too diplomatic. The new swing bridge and bypass gutted the town. The pictures on this site clearly show a vibrant town prior to 1972. Every time I return, it depresses me to see what Newhaven has become. Still, on the bright side, now you have a high temperature incinerator, so the government are obviously keen to invest...and the swing bridge still causes massive delays on one of the busiest roads on the south coast. Genius. However, harbour plus development generally equals prosperity, so perhaps all is not yet lost. (Stuart, Melbourne)

By Stuart Winton
On 30/12/2011

Just come across the pamphlets on Our Newhaven about the Northern Bypass. I have remarked on it on the messages page about my seeing the actual plans on the internet, sadly cannot find the site again. Be interesting to have further comments on this subject.

By Bill Purcell
On 02/02/2013

I vividly remember my late father saying that if they took the road down the valley and built a new bridge North of Denton Island, joining up with Avis road it would allow all the through traffic to bypass the town. There were only a few houses in the Valley Road at that time. This would have allowed the High Street to stay as it was. This conversation happened in the early sixties on Peacehaven golf course as I was caddying for him. He wasn't often wrong.

Was your father Fred Herriott, who was on the town council at the same time as my father, I wonder? - Andy, Editor.

By Ron Herriott
On 03/02/2013

No, no relation.

By Ron Herriott
On 07/02/2013

Hi Andy, just to say that Fred Herriott had a son with the name of Ian and he and I went to school together at one time. The last time I heard of Ian, he had joined the Merchant Navy and was working for the New Zealand Shipping Co. This was in the early 1960's. Fred and his family lived at Gibbon Road and then he later built a house in Court Farm Road. There wasn't many houses there then.

By Colin Brandon
On 07/02/2013

I can remember when I first came on the net seeing plans for a bypass around Newhaven. ESCC apparently had a German Company to draw up plans for the bypass which was to run from the Peacehaven Golf Coarde down the Valley, across the river North of North Quay and on to Denton Corner. From there it was to go up the valley and across the back of Bishopstone to meet the A259 East of Chyngton Lane. I emailed ESCC about this but the say they have no knowledge of it. Can anyone enlighten me further on this.

By Bill Purcell
On 03/07/2013

The following drawings and text for several schemes are to be found in the County records office at Lewes. These are just a few of the items to be found and one of them may be the one to which you refer. DL/A/7/81, 'Relief Road Scheme IV - Route to North of Denton Island - Bridge with 25' 0" Headroom'; N/RF/29, 15096/1/1; 5 Dec 1968, received 27 Feb 1969 DL/A/7/83 5 Dec 1968 As DL/A/7/81, 'Scheme Va Viaduct Incorporating Bridge with 40' Headroom'; N/RF/74c; received 27 Feb 1969 DL/A/7/84 [?1969] As DL/A/7/84, 'Scheme Vb Viaduct'; N/RF75c; received 27 Feb 1969 DL/A/7/85 [?1969] As DL/A/7/84, 'Scheme Vc Viaduct'; N/RF76c; received 27 Feb 1969 DL/A/7/86 [?1969] As DL/A/7/84, 'Scheme Vd Viaduct'; N/RF77c; received 27 Feb 1969 DL/A/7/87 [?1969] 'East Sussex County Council Brighton-Eastbourne-Westham Road - A259 Proposed Newhaven Relief Road Scheme VI Original Route - Old River Arm Remaining Open'; scales as DL/A/7/81; N/RF78c, County Surveyor drawing 13351/5; 29 Jan 1969, received 27 Feb 1969 DL/A/7/88 [?1969] As DL/A/7/81, 'Scheme VII Partial Viaduct with Lifting Bridge at Quay Level'; N/RF79c; received 27 Feb 1969 DL/A/7/89 [?1969] As DL/A/7/81, 'Scheme VIII Route to South of Denton Island - Viaduct Incorporating Lifting Bridge with 25' Minimum Headroom'; N/RF80c, County Surveyor drawing 15094/4/1; Jan 1969, received 27 Feb 1969 DL/A/7/90 [?1969] As DL/A/7/81, 'Scheme IX - By-pass with Major Interchange at A275 Junction'; N/RF81c; nd [?1969] DL/A/7/91 Jan 1969 'East Sussex County Council Brighton-Eastbourne-Westham Road - A259 Proposed Newhaven Relief Road'; shows scheme without viaduct; County Surveyor drawing 13351/1 DL/A/7/92 29 Apr 1966 As DL/A/7/92, showing scheme with viaduct; County Surveyor drawing 13351/2 DL/A/7/93 29 Apr 1966 'Proposed Seaford Relief Road'; scales as DL/A/7/81; County Surveyor drawing 13269/6/1 DL/A/7/94 6 Dec 1966

By Richard Beckett
On 03/07/2013

My Dad, who was Newhaven born and bred, always reckoned a much earlier bypass was started, probably in the 1930's,with the evidence still there in Lewes Road towards Lewes, on the left just after last houses on right.  He said the plan was to go over Bullens and join the Brighton road after the golf club and then a bridge over the river.  He was uncertain why the project was stopped.  Anyone else heard of this plan?

Rob Vinall

By Rob Vinall
On 26/01/2017

Hi, I'm Fred Herriott's granddaughter - my dad is Ian Herriott - I came across these comments where both my dad and grandad are mentioned so if anyone needs any information then please let me know - you can email  (email address removed). We're still reasonably local in Eastbourne but the Court Farm Road house was sold when my grandparents passed. Catherine Herriott

Note from editors:- Sorry but it is the policy of the website not to publish any personal email address, so if you would like to contact Catherine we can forward her email address on to you.

By Catherine Herriott
On 05/09/2018

I understand that one of the objections to the Northern Bypass was that any fixed bridge over the river would have to be sufficiently high to clear the mainmast of ships visiting the cement works at Asham.  It was not long after this that seaborne cement traffic was abandoned anyway!

By Bruce Macphee
On 11/09/2018

And many vessels of the type that plied the cement trade had folding masts anyway! Not sure if our 'regular' vessel, the Celtic, had such a mast, I'd have to look at a close-up of her.

By Andy Gilbert
On 12/09/2018

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