Rye needs traffic plan to improve safety

Rye congestion
Rye congestion
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A COUNCILLOR is calling for a radical re-think on traffic management in Rye.

Cllr Granville Bantick has called for a proper traffic management plan to tackle growing problems of congestion, parking and pedestrian safety in the town.

He spoke out at a time when residents have launched a campaign following vehicles mounting the pavement in the Citadel area and endangering pedestrians.

Cllr Bantick says the plan should look at better parking enforcement, part pedestrianisation of the High Street and the introduction of a park and ride scheme.

Other aspects he would like to see explored are more drop kerbs and pedestrianised traffic lights and the possible lowering of speed limits in certain areas, such as the Citadel.

He said: “Unlike many towns, Rye no longer has a traffic warden. Without the due diligence of a traffic warden, drivers of vehicles, whether they be cars or delivery vans, will continue to flout the law and take their chance of being caught.”

On pedestrianisation, Cllr Bantick said: “Whilst this solution is very beguiling to many, and very attractive to visitors to the town, ESCC Highways have said it was not practicable for a town like Rye. We were told that issues to be considered would include access, loss of parking, effect on businesses, deliveries, disabled access, duration of restrictions, enforcement, signage and physical barriers which would require someone to operate them and be responsible for them.

“That is not to say this solution should not be given further thought but it would be important to have extensive consultation with all members of the community.

Commenting on the potential for a park and ride scheme in Rye, Cllr Bantick said: “Ride. I have always thought that this could be adopted to keep as many cars out of the town as possible. It would have an obvious initial cost but thereafter it could pay for itself. It is usually associated with larger towns, but a scaled down operation should work for Rye.

“Rye is a beautiful town and one can understand how some people might consider some of the solutions might spoil its medieval character. However, I

believe we should give more consideration to those who do find walking and driving in the town increasingly difficult, and frustrating. Unless greater investigation into how these problems can be overcome Rye will become even more congested.”

Christine Ward, from Rye, who is visually impaired, said: “This highlights the problems faced by affected people in having to live in a town where there is only one fully pedestrianised crossing with traffic lights. We need more.

“It has gotten so bad that I now rarely venture out on my own.

“If I did not have my full wits I would risk being run over two or three times a year, despite always using my White Symbol Cane Stick.”