New plan will make Rye town centre a safer place

Illegal parking in Lion Street 2
Illegal parking in Lion Street 2

RYE Council has quashed an earlier controversial decision which was seen by many to dilute traffic safety plans at Lion Street.

Concerns were raised about vehicles parking on the narrow pavement to unload, forcing pedestrians out into the road.

Rye Town Council came up with the solution of a new loading bay in the High Street but initially ignored recommendations from the local Highways Forum that the loading bay could be used by other vehicles between 6pm - 7am.

This would have made it harder to police say critics and

lead to vehicles parking overnight.

Pat Hughes, of Rye Community Transport, said: “The Highways Forum deliberated on this seriously over two meetings and came to a unanimous decision.

“We were shocked by the decision the council made at the previous meeting. This was intended to provide a solution for all who live and work in this part of Rye.”

David Nixon said: “The police need the ability to enforce this new loading bay.”

Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore said: “Drivers have been bullying and abusive in their attitude. I believe the people of Rye want to see definite action on this rather than a half-hearted compromise.”

Cllr John Breeds said: “It is possible people could abuse a dropping off space.”

But Cllr Mike Eve said: “This was a minor change that reflected the fact that few commericial vehicles come into the town between 6pm and 7am. It has been made into a huge issue.

“We used common sense last time. Now we are saying that we have to do what a working party says.

“The proposed change was small, very flexible and better for the town.”

Cllr Nigel Jennings said: “I can’t see why this amendment affects public safety.”

Resident Nick Taylor, who has experienced being trapped in his own home by vehicles parking on the pavement, said: “This loading bay is being funded by public money to resolve a public safety matter. The need for a safe environment in the town must not be confused with the demands of a hotel which, in all probability, wants a space for guests outside to be conveniently checked in at three in the afternoon, with unsightly delivery lorries pushed back out of sight in Lion Street.

“Concern for public safety outweighs any commercial pressures or lobbying that may have occurred.

“If there are third parties with an interest in the outcome of this matter, I would strongly challenge them to come and speak for themselves openly in public rather than asking for private meetings, submitting secretive alternative plans and sending confidential emails that cannot be placed in the public domain.

“Twenty four hour restriction is recommended by Rye Police, the highways authority and Rye Chamber of Commerce.”