Rye council delays backing 20mph campaign

30 Mph zone, New Road, Rye. SUS-170124-130216001
30 Mph zone, New Road, Rye. SUS-170124-130216001

Campaigners bidding to change the speed limit in Rye to 20mph suffered a minor setback as the town council thought it was ‘unrealistic’.

The Rye A259/Bypass Action Group asked Rye Town Council to support its 20 is Plenty campaign but was rebuffed at a meeting on Monday (February 13).

Councillors decided to refer the matter to the Rye Highways Forum to look into which streets would benefit from a 20mph speed limit and report back.

An action group spokesman said it was disappointed the council could not just give the campaign its backing but vowed to fight on.

“Last night’s decision was very disappointing as we were only seeking the support of the council,” the spokesman said on Tuesday.

“This makes very little difference. The Rye town councillors have no teeth.

“I don’t want them to think they have a say or indeed control over our 20mph campaign, as they do not.”

The action group was started by aggrieved residents sick of speeding motorists and being scared to cross the road.

They argue a slower speed limit would make the town safer for pedestrians, reduce the amount of accidents, and improve air quality.

The campaigners initially approached the council last month to get its support so they could apply for grants but the planning committee referred it to the full council who sent it to the forum.

Council clerk Richard Farhall said: “The request from the A259/Rye Bypass Action Group was for support for a 20mph limit throughout the whole of Rye.

“Councillors took the view that this was unrealistic and it would be better to identify which specific streets would benefit from a reduction to 20mph.

“They decided to ask the Rye Highways Forum to undertake this – and to consider any implications – before making recommendations to the council.”

Although the council’s hesitation disappointed the group, its main targets are Highways England and East Sussex County Council who have the power to change the speed limit.

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