The issues of congestion, pollution and parking brought about by increased traffic in Rye is a long running and growing problem for which this ancient and medieval Cinque Port is ill equipped. In response, a group of residents has formed the Action for Safer Traffic in Rye (ASTIR) and are seeking the views of residents and those working in Rye regarding traffic issues.
ASTIR will be gathering evidence to help tackle the traffic problems experienced by people living, working and visiting Rye. This includes speeding, illegal parking, increased noise, pollution levels, as well as the effects of increased traffic volumes passing through town – both local as well as the heavy goods vehicles thundering through on their onward journey.
The group will be investigating where new pedestrian crossings and other road safety measures should be located to make walking safer and will be lobbying for Rye to become a 20mph zone.
One of the most pressing areas for investigation is that of air quality. A number of residents have expressed their concerns about the increased pollution levels. This is partly down to more and congested traffic but also because of the popularity of diesel engines, which are known to be the worst polluters.
Since the opening of the Channel Tunnel, a number of long standing residents have witnessed a substantial increase in HGV traffic through Rye. The sheer size of the trucks means houses shake as they speed by with vibrations being felt in adjacent roads, including in the citadel, but more concerning is that a number of roads that they use are not wide enough for them to pass each other without mounting the pavement. The group has been gathering evidence of “near misses” and where lorries have come dangerously close to pedestrians. In one instance a resident was struck by a wing mirror and had her rib broken as the passing lorry came close to the pavement beside her.
ASTIR members have already met with Amber Rudd MP, Rother District Councillors and Rye Town Councillors about their concerns. Communication has also taken place with Highways England and it has been agreed to resurface Fishmarket Road and South Undercliff with noise reducing tarmac in June 2018. The group are now aiming to do an analysis of all the “hot spots” in Rye, such as Station Approach, that need to be tackled and will be liaising with the relevant authorities on behalf of all residents of Rye.
If you have first hand knowledge of any traffic/safety problems in Rye and are interested in joining ASTIR to support their aims please contact Vickie Nocera, Chair of ASTIR (01797-224228) or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Photo: Vickie Nocera