Fire appliances blocked by cars in Rye Citadel

2/1/14- Rye.  St Anthony, Watchbell Street ENGSUS00120140201141943
2/1/14- Rye. St Anthony, Watchbell Street ENGSUS00120140201141943

Concerned residents have said a tragedy is waiting to happen after fire engines trying to reach Watchbell Street were blocked by parked cars.

Two fire engines were unable to reach an incident at the Hope Anchor in Watchbell Street on August 25 because they were obstructed by illegally parked vehicles at two different locations.

The first fire engine was blocked by a parked car at the top of East Street and was forced to reverse and use Lion Street. The second followed but then both were blocked by another parked car outside the Methodist Church in Church Square.

Luckily there was no fire. Hotel manager Chris George called the Fire Service as a precaution after he suspected an electrical fault.

Rye councillor Shaun Rogers, who is also a firefighter, said the Fire Service had reported their concerns over parked vehicles to police.

The issue was discussed when Rye Town Council met on Monday and there was anger and recriminations over the lack of parking enforcement in the town.

Cllr Michael Eve said Rother Council should take a lead on parking enforcement and use some of the revenue they take from Rye area car parks.

Rye councillor Mary Smith called for a public meeting to find a short-term solution.

She said: “Something needs to be in place to stop this happening.

“I have contacted the police and the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner with my concerns.

“People know there is no enforcement in Rye and park where they want.

“This could also affect ambulances getting through. People in the Citadel are in a vulnerable position with timbered houses so close together.”

A Rye resident commented: “It was clear all through the Jazz Festival weekend there was going to be potential for a serious problem. There were illegally parked vehicles around that corner day and night. It was difficult to get even a small car round there.”