Day of chaos in Eastbourne’s Lottbridge Drove due to major oil spill

The day of “absolute chaos” on Eastbourne’s busiest road is finally over.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 12:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 12:39 pm
Photo by Dan Jessup

Lottbridge Drove was closed for more than 13 hours yesterday (Wednesday) after an extensive diesel spillage between Tesco roundabout and Cross Levels Way at about 9am.

According to East Sussex Highways, a vehicle drove down the road leaking diesel all down the carriageway, leaving the surface extremely slippery.

Photo by Dan Jessup

A spokesperson for the authority said, “ Unfortunately, such was the scale of the spillage that the road had to be closed in both directions to enable the diesel to be removed.

“Diesel degrades asphalt and often a road surface will have to be replaced following a diesel spill, but our team worked quickly to prevent damage to the road surface and avoided longer delays.

“Unfortunately as this is a very busy road it did result in heavy traffic on nearby roads.”

Sussex Police officers were on scene all day to direct traffic, while two clean-up teams were at work and a sweeper vehicle to remove the diesel and apply a detergent on the road.

The Highways spokesperson said, “Because of the scale of the spillage this was a lengthy and complex operation.”

The road was finally reopened at 10.25pm that night, Highways said.

Disgruntled motorists took to social media to share their horror stories about the major road closure.

One Facebook user called the situation “absolute traffic chaos”, while another said it was a “nightmare”.

The gridlock caused simple five-minute journeys to last hours, with some people stuck in car parks at the industrial estate.

Meanwhile, the situation was exacerbated by the closure of Seaside Road in the town centre for emergency gas work and Grand Parade due to the Claremont fire.