Pedestrians put at risk in Rye’s historic Citadel area

10/1/13- Pavement damage in Lion Street, Rye.
10/1/13- Pavement damage in Lion Street, Rye.

HEAVY goods vehicles are using pavements as roads in an historic Rye street and putting pedestrians in danger.

Narrow Lion Street, in the heart of the Rye Citadel Conservation Area has come to resemble a “lorry depot” according to concerned residents who have launched a ‘Save Our Street’ campaign.

Unloading lorries and vans frequently park on the pavements damaging kerbs and paving stones and forcing pedestrians out in the road.

Rye Councillors, who have raised serious concerns over the growing problem, believe it has been made worse by the George Hotel filling in its car park and delivery area to create a new restaurant, which means deliveries to the George are often unloaded in lower Lion Street.

Resident Nick Taylor commented: “Police have been working hard to control the situation. They contacted delivery drivers asking them not to park on the pavement, but now they park in the road so cars mount the pavement to get past and the problem has become worse.

“Paving slabs have been disintegrating and are becoming a hazard. We need delivery bays in the High Street as soon as possible.

“This is the only part of Rye where pavements are continually being used as roads.

“The situation cannot be allowed to continue as it is.”

Rye councillor Mary Smith said: “People with buggies and walking aids are forced into the road while visitors see cracked and broken paving stones.”

Residents claim that only recently visitors walking down Lion Street on the pavement were forced to leap to safety after a delivery vehicle reversed on the footpath without seeing them.

Cllr Heidi Foster said: “This is a big problem in Rye.”

One concerned resident said: “The lower part of the street now frequently resembles a lorry depot.

“This is the principal route for tourists wishing to visit St Mary’s Church and explore the beautiful and historic area around Church Square and the Gun Gardens.

“The street has now become highly dangerous for pedestrians with vehicles routinely using pavements as roads.

“Vehicles pass on the pavement very close to shops and there is considerable danger for anyone leaving a shop.

“Some drivers, when seeing an obstruction, actually accelerate as they travel down the pavement.

“It will only be a matter of time before someone is knocked down, injured or killed.”

Rye Town Council has now asked for loading bays to be introduced in the High Street in a bid to alleviate the problem.