From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
|Length:||16.9 miles (27.2 km)|
|Meets:||A259, B2089, B2082, B2088, A28, A229, A21, B2087|
|Former Number(s):||B2082, B2088, B2087|
|Now part of:||B2088, B2087|
|Route outline (key)|
The A268 is a largely rural A-road in east Sussex.
Rye - Flimwell
The road begins in the historic Antient Town of Rye in East Sussex leaving the rambling A259 at a mini roundabout on the western side of town. The sea receded from Rye many centuries ago, leaving this hilltop town of cobbled streets a mile upstream along the muddy River Rother. After the town's one-way system there is a T-junction where a spur of the A268 turns right to rejoin the A259 to the east of the town centre; we have followed the original route of that road through Rye.
Formerly signed 'Hawkhurst', which is now usurped by Tenterden (via the B2082), the A268 is basically the route for Tonbridge and London. Bridging one of only two remaining unelectrified railway lines in the provincial Southeast, the road climbs steeply through trees to Playden. Waving goodbye to the B2082, we head west for Peasmarsh. The road begins to wind and there are no further straights of any significance until beyond the A28. We pass the unusual phenomenon of a large supermarket located out in the countryside and through the villages of Peasmarsh and Four Oaks/Beckley, where the B2088 leaves us.
Upon reaching the A28, we TOTSO right and multiplex for around a mile, descending to the Rother Valley, crossing both the steam railway (via a level crossing) and the river (via a 'single file' bridge) into Kent. We pass the hamlet of Newenden with a nice view of its church and climb again to where the A28 exits right at a TOTSO. By now, the A268 has found its feet and heads wide and straight for Sandhurst and on into Hawkhurst.
Hawkhurst is the archetypal Wealden small town, having an abundance of weatherboarded buildings. At the centre is a box junction with traffic lights, allowing the primary A229 to pass through. It is now only a matter of time before we reach the A21. It looks as though the A268 continues, but alas, straight ahead is the B2087 and Flimwell!
On classification in 1922 the A268 number was allocated to a short link road further west in Sussex. What is now the A268 was the A259 through Rye, then the B2082 to Playden and the B2088 to Four Oaks. There was then an unclassified section (that was soon upgraded to become part of the B2087) as far as the A28. On the far side of the multiplex the B2087 continued as far as Flimwell.
The original A268 was presumably downgraded in (or before) the 1935 renumberings as the current A268 came into existence in that year. With the possible exception of Rye town centre, it followed its current route except for in the Beckley area, as it followed the full length of the B2088 to join the A28 to the south of Northiam. The road also ran beyond the A21 as far as Ticehurst and the A266.
The section of road from Flimwell to Ticehurst did not last long as part of the A268; it was downgraded in the 1940s to its original number, the B2087, at the same time as the road between Four Oaks and north Northiam was renumbered B2088. This section of road swapped numbers with the A268 in the 1960s, confusingly giving the road through Beckley its original number back.