Rye link-road is discussed at annual meeting

Rye Meeting SUS-150503-073008001
Rye Meeting SUS-150503-073008001

The issue of a Rye link-road was brought up when Rye Council hosted the annual Town Meeting on Wednesday night.

Rye Community Centre was packed with electors for a well organised meeting that kept reports and waffle to a minimum, instead letting the Rye public take centre stage in raising concerns and issues.

The idea of a link-road, or by-pass for Rye was introduced by born and bred Ryer and former Rye Mayor Paul Carey.

He told the meeting the town would benefit from a road which left the A259 at Kent Ditch corner and crossed the Marsh to join the industrial heart-land of Rye Harbour Road.

This, he said, would free up Rye from heavy lorries and HGVs while attracting new jobs and industry to the town.

He said: “It would be win-win. The only thing preventing burgeoning business opportunities in the Harbour area is poor communications. A link-road would be of great benefit to the people of Rye.”

Mr Carey successfully called for a vote to include the idea of a Rye link-road in the Rye Local Plan.

Anthony Kimber, vice chairman of the Local Plan Steering Group, said: “This would be a massive undertaking. It has been looked at on numerous occasions before and would create a huge engineering problem, but it is not impossible.

“We would have to engage with a lot of partners including the Highways Agency.”

Some opponents of the idea said Mr Carey should not be allowed to put the issue to the vote as he lived at New Romney, but he pointed out that he still had an address at Tilling Green and was a Rye elector.

Brushing his critics aside as ‘Johnny come-latelies’ , Mr Carey said: “I think I know Rye and the Marsh.”

Kenneth Bird, of Rye Conservation Society, said he would prefer to see the A259 declassified as a trunk road at Rye and added: “I do have enormous sympathy for residents in areas such as South Undercliff who have to put up with the heavy traffic, particularly in the summer months.”

Dominic Manning, of Rye Environmental Group, called the idea ‘unwise’ and said: “As an environmentalist I would strongly oppose this.”

The majority of those at the meeting voted against the idea of a Rye link-road and Mr Carey commented: “I accept that”.

Other issues discussed at the meeting ranged from illegal parking in the town to issues with the Valley park housing estate.

Pot-holes in the town was another concern that was raised and there was a call for the Council to support the Rye Maritime Festival.