Rye Observer Comment: Public toilet incident could have been serious

“SORRY” is becoming something of a mantra for Rother District Council. The latest in a long line of apologies comes after a bus driver was trapped in public toilets in Rye for two hours after contractors locked up without bothering to check

We have all heard jokes and stories about being locked in the lavatory and happily in this case there was no real harm done.

Had it been an elderly or vulnerable person, without a mobile phone, who had been locked in overnight in December we could now be looking at something far more serious and tragic.

Questions have to be asked. Why was the nearest key holder based in Polegate – 30 miles away and not even within the district? Why were there no signs or notices indicating that toilets would be locked up at a certain time? Why is it not common practice for workers to give a warning call of “locking up!”?

Rother has now said there will be a key available in Rye should the unfortunate scenario happen again, but why has it taken this for that common-sense measure to be put in place.

As Adam Smith observed, it will be interesting to see how Rother cope when faced with a large scale emergency such as flooding.

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OUR thoughts are with rail users who from Monday face long extended bus journeys when the Rye line closes for nine weeks.

There are lots of variable factors which could influence how this works, not least the weather and contractors over-running.

Local rail Watch Dog Marshlink, which has worked hard to get as many concessions for those affected as it could, has said it will be keeping a close eye on the situation.

So will the Rye Observer. We will be keen to hear the experiences of rail users once the closure takes affect.

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BATTLE OBSERVER COMMENT; Lack of snow good for Battle traders

AROUND this time last year, the newsdesk was being inundated with phonecalls and e-mails about the snowfall.

From picturesque photos of Battle Abbey, looking like something straight off a Christmas card, to complaints about the shutting of Battle Hill because of hazardous driving conditions, the paper was positively bursting with snow stories and pictures.

Looking out the office window now, all that can be seen is blue skies and sunshine.

Bad news for kids big and small who are desperate to dust their sledges off, but better news for commuters and others who don’t want to deal with the disruption snowfall brings.

But the lack of snow this winter must have been perceived as a good thing for the Battle’s traders, who already have a recession to contend with.

And with the town centre parking issue set to rear its ugly head again in the very near future, the hard-working traders and Chamber of Commerce can do with all the help and support they can get.