Rother District Council (RDC) is consulting residents on how it can best manage and protect the district’s public realm. The term public realm includes maintenance of pavements and road surfaces, street furniture, signage, post boxes, telephone kiosks, trees and planting.
RDC stresses that it wants to safeguard the unique character of public spaces and features in Rye and has identified four priority actions for the town:
1) Ensure the quality of the public realm is given due weight in the delivery of the East Sussex County Council (ESCC) Local Transport Plan for Rye;
2) Develop a concise database of public realm products and materials specifications;
3) Ensure existing historic and heritage style public realm features are repaired or replaced on a like-for-like basis;
4) Ensure the quality of the public realm is given due weight in the delivery of the community aspirations in Rye’s Neighbourhood Plan including the introduction of town gateways; rethinking Ferry Road and Station Approach road layout; the introduction of a parking strategy with the introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE); and improved road signage.
The consultation also lays out its commitment to work in partnership with other delivery authorities such as ESCC and Rye Town Council “to set out agreed use of appropriate materials and finishes for maintenance and repairs, particularly in conservation areas, and the presumption of preservation of historic public realm features”. In addition, there is a commitment to “involve stakeholders at early stages in the design process for new public-realm improvement schemes”.
The RDC consultation coincides with the 90th anniversary of Living Streets – the campaign to clear pavements of cars and clutter.
Originally set up in 1929 as the Pedestrians Association, its campaigning led to the UK’s first zebra crossing and the introduction of speed limits. It has since grown into a national organisation with affiliated groups all over the UK including in Lewes and Eastbourne.
Living Streets’ current campaign is calling for the UK government to follow the Scottish lead and introduce legislation to ban cars from parking on pavements.
If you would like to read more on Rother’s public realm consultation you can do so here and have until March 8 to comment. Alternatively, if you want to help create a better walking environment and are interested in setting up a Living Streets group in Rye, more information can be found here.
Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy.