Cost cuts signal end of boxes


The fight to save Polegate’s historical signal box has been cranked up a notch by campaigners.

A petition has been gathered by a group of residents fighting to save the treatened building.

Network Rail wants to demolish the Victorian signal box building as part of a multi-million costcutting exercise.

But is is now a race against time as the company hopes to start work on the red brick building in December 2013.

The demolition of the building is part of a wider scheme to save a total of £250 million a year for the railway firm.

Polegate caimpaigner Michael Clewett said the building was an important landmark in the town.

He said: “What does Polegate Signal Box mean to you? Would you miss it if it wasn’t there?

“We believe that it is the heart of the High Street and defines Polegate’s history and its connection with the railway back to Victorian times.

“Petitions have been gathered and there have been meetings to decide how best to save the box and work with Network Rail to keep it in situ so it may remain a constant part of Polegate’s landscape.

“There is the potential to develop and take over the signal box, but ideas are needed as to the future use of the building, there are several ideas that have been suggested, such as a museum which would be available for community use or a Police box?”

The demolition proposals come as plans to centralise signals from Three Bridges via CCTV., making Polegate’s signal box redundant.

Network Rail has posted notices to demolish the building.

An application by the company has been lodged with Wealden District Council.

The railway company hopes to start the three month demolition work next December as part of a country-wide scheme to rid itself of almost all signal boxes as they become redundant.

As a result of a nationwide audit by English Heritage some of the boxes which are listed buildings could be saved from demolition

A Network Rail spokesman said earlier this year that if people had credible proposals with funding which took care of moving the box somewhere else so it could continue its life, they would be pleased to listen to that.”

If you have any ideas on how to save the signal box or have ever been involved in a project like this the campaign group is keen to hear from you.

For up to date informtion on the campaign’s developemnt and meetings contact Mr Clewett on 01323 486647 and email at or Malcolm Cunningham