‘Don’t let any other family go through this’

Graham Matthews
Graham Matthews

A DECADE after the death of Rye man Graham Matthews a safe cycle path along Rye Harbour Road remains unfinished.

Graham’s heart-broken father Brian has fought tirelessly to get the cycle and pedestrian path . Now he has made an impassioned plea to East Sussex County Council for it to be completed by August 12 this year - exactly ten years after Graham died.

Computer consultant Graham, 22, was killed as he cycled on Rye Harbour Road with his partner’s eight-year-old son Troy.

He was hit by a car driven by Carol Cutting, from Hythe, Kent, who admitted in court that she had driven 500 yards at 45mph, despite being completely blinded by sunlight.

She was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving and given an 18 month suspended prison sentence.

The judge at her trial said that Graham’s defensive cycling position almost certainly saved the eight year old’s life.

Commenting on the campaign for a cyclepath after the trial, Brian Matthews said: “It would be a great tribute to him and a reminder that he did not die in vain.”

Most of the path, from Rye Harbour village has been completed but it ends near Rye Paddock just before a series of blind corners where Harbour Road joins the A259.

Brian, speaking this week, said: “It may be ten years ago but I still live this every day. It is very real for me.

“This is a dangerous road and it is only a matter of time before someone else gets killed.

“I just don’t want another family to go through what we have been through.”

Jim Hollands, who is supporting the campaign, said: “There have already been a number of near misses since then.”

East Sussex County Council leader Keith Glazier said: “The completion of Harbour Road Cycle Track remains a priority and the County team are still working on the design.

“Work is due to be completed early next year, I will continue to press for this to be at the earliest possible time.”