Rye Observer Comment: Parking and petrol station troubles

It is not a good time to be a vehicle owner in the Rye area,

Not only are parking charges set to increase now the town is going to lose the well used petrol station at Winchelsea Road.

There is nothing that can be done with operators Total closing their petrol stations throughout the UK and the Environment Agency, which owns the Rye site, being tight lipped about its future.

That service station is vital, not only due to its strategic position for re-fuelling, but for the late night and Sunday convenience it provides for people wanting to get a pint of milk or some groceries.

With Rye still not having a supermarket that opens on Sundays, this is a big loss.

It feels as if the town is becoming even more marginalised in terms of basic services.

We have often criticised Rother Council in these pages but at a time when extra money needs to be found and cuts made, the council dealt with the parking charge issue in a measured and considered way, with it’s working group living up to its name and spending months considering all the options and the best way to implement the increases rather than opting for an across the board price hike.

The increases do not seem totally unreasonable but we still have concerns over rates for Rye’s main long-stay car park at Gibbets Marsh going up by a whole £1 during the busy tourist season.

If this does not put off visitors from staying in Rye and spending money, it will certainly increase congestion in the already cramped town centre, which Gibbets Marsh was designed to avoid.


Battle Observer Comment: Passengers scared witless!

LEAVES on the line, signalling failure, snowy conditions - these are all excuses for delays that any long-time commuter must have heard before.

So there was probably a collective groan when a train driver announced a tunnel fire at Mountfield was holding up the Tuesday morning commute this week.

Unfortunately this soon turned to panic when this was followed up with an announcement that the train was to be driven into the tunnel to see if there was a blaze in progress.

Although there is no evidence Southeastern put any of its passengers in danger, announcing to a train packed full of people that they would be heading into a tunnel to check for a fire was an incredibly poor call.

As if a daily commute wasn’t tough enough already, commuters could probably do without the fear of being plunged into a smoke-filled tunnel.

Southeastern has apologised, but let’s hope the person responsible gets a little training in learning how not to scare passengers witless.