‘Someone will be killed’ if illegal parking continues

Illegal parking in Lion Street 2 SUS-140319-113330001
Illegal parking in Lion Street 2 SUS-140319-113330001

ILLEGAL parking at Rye’s Lion Street has reached crisis point with anxious councillors worried that someone could be seriously hurt or killed.

Large delivery vehicles are parking on pavements, forcing pedestrians to walk out into the road, obstructing shops and even blocking people in their own homes.

One shop in Lion Street has had its canopy damaged on a number of occasions by high sided vehicles.

Deputy Mayor Bernardine Fiddimore said: “Eventually someone will die or be maimed as a result of this mindless behaviour.”

Despite enforcement efforts from police, delivery drivers have been accused of deliberately ignoring restrictions and flouting the law.

People have been met with aggression and abuse when they have challenged the drivers.

Rye Town Council has negotiated with the Highways Authority to get a loading bay installed in the High Street to alleviate the problem but that is some way off and there are growing calls for urgent action to be taken now.

Lion Street resident Nick Taylor has campaigned for more than a year to get something done about the problem. In a letter to Rye Council he said: “Police have said they are now taking a zero tolerance to the obstructive parking by vehicles serving The George Hotel.

“On separate occasions PC Fielder assured us that because of the ongoing damage to the shop front, the constant danger to pedestrians, and the interference with our properties the police would be contacting all the hotel suppliers and informing them that they can no longer use Lion Street for making deliveries as it is becoming a matter not just of obstructive and dangerous parking but also anti-social behaviour. Instead they are to deliver to the front of the hotel.

“However, over a matter of several weeks not a single one of them has followed these instructions, despite repeated warnings.

“One vehicle has been involved in numerous dangerous incidents that I have logged, including one where I had to intervene suddenly to prevent an elderly person from being crushed outside my house.”

Cllr Fiddimore said: “I am fearful that if this situation continues, the proposed loading bay will also be ignored.”

Cllr Mary Smith said: “We need to do everything we can to deal with this. I have contacted the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.”

Cllr Granville Bantick said: “We as councillors have a duty to take this further. Our complaint must reach the highest level.”

Cllr Heidi Foster said: “We should ask the Rye MP Amber Rudd to take this to the top and demand some strong action.”

The long-running problem has drawn criticism from local residents with one man claiming his wife was almost hit after being forced to walk around a van parked on the pavement, whilst pushing her child in a buggy.