Action needed on danger corner

The Town Council is looking at the problem whereby drivers now can no longer see potential hazards round the corner on Station Approach

The Station Approach area in Rye is an accident waiting to happen the Town Council was told on Monday – and action should be taken now before it actually does happen.
Action, the council was told, was often not taken by the highways authorities nationally (the Department of Transport) or locally (East Sussex County Council – ESCC) until accidents and injuries began to mount up.
But the town’s Highways Forum wants action as the new extension to Jempson’s supermarket (shown above) blocks drivers’ views round the corner to the bus stops.
Traditionally many people have crossed the road just around the corner from the bus stops to reach the former Post Office (now inside Jempson’s), and the kerb has been lowered both sides of the road to help pedestrians.

One solution might be a very large mirror on this traffic island so drivers can see around the corner, along with a very conspicuous danger warning.

However the view of that crossing point (as the picture above shows) is now blocked and Deputy Mayor Cllr Mike Boyd said the inherent dangers on that corner had now got much worse.
Former Mayor Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore said action was needed now to avoid the corner “going up the priority list because of an accident”.
Cars tend to accelerate away from the pedestrian crossing by the main Jempson’s entrance, and after the slow stretch of road around the level crossing and Ferry Road, but may be unaware of the bus stops.
One solution used elsewhere on similar blind corners might be a very large mirror on the traffic island by the station car park (pictured above in the centre of the picture and, right, in close up) which is now used for a parking charges sign. Drivers could then “see” around the potentially dangerous corner.

Photos: John Minter


  1. One wonders why before this extension was given, Jempsons were not asked to contribute to an elongated traffic island, as they were contributing to this black spot,surely the planners and RTC were aware of serious problems ahead,now is the question how long before somebody gets run over there,and how long before action is taken,just hope it doesn’t take as long as the parking fiasco in Rye.

  2. It should have been immediately obvious to whoever granted planning permission that this development was going to create a visibility hazard at an already dangerous location. And even if the planner(s) missed it on the architect’s drawings, it became unmissable as the building work advanced. Questions need to be asked about why and how this was allowed to happen.

  3. This should have been identified by Highways during the planning consultation. It was obviously missed. What is needed now is another zebra crossing outside Cinque Ports pub and then railings all around the corner outside Jempsons.

  4. Another cock-up by the well-practiced team of Town Council, Rother District Planning and East Sussex Highways Authority – all of whom could have predicted this during the planning process.
    The whole issue of traffic round the station one-way system had also been analysed and discussed during the Neighbourhood Plan meetings.

  5. A mandatory 20mph speed limit on the whole length of the 1-way system, from the Kettle of Fish roundabout to Landgate might be one solution – drivers (dare I say males in flash cars) seem to feel that Station Approach in particular is a practice run for Rye’s Grand Prix.
    Road humps would also slow down traffic …..
    Ashford’s solution to a disastrous 1-way system/race-track mentality of unchallenged road use was to introduce a 20mph shared space regime.
    Of course, the problem throughout Rye is one of cars (and their drivers) v. pedestrians, both needing passage along quite narrow streets. Better education about ‘shared space’ might help both groups!

  6. Why not install railings to stop pedestrians crossing at this dangerous spot so that they have to use the pedestrian crossings.

  7. My wife experienced a car running into the back of her car as she was moving away in the bus parking area after posting a letter. She and her elderly passenger were not hurt but sufficient damage was done to both cars to entail insurance claims. She said the car must have come round the corner at great speed to have done the damage that it did she said. I have always thought there was a need for a controlled gated crossing point to be the best solution, but obviously Highways are not going to do anything until there are a few fatalities! A large mirror on the traffic island may be an interim solution but I doubt it would slow the traffic round that bend.

  8. The solution is a simple one. An opportune time to introduce a reduced speed limit throughout the town, i.e. 20 mph.
    The culture of lower speeds in towns like Rye is long overdue, make it happen.

  9. What is wrong with erecting a kerb side barrier to prevent pedestrians crossing the road at that point and forcing them to use the zebra crossing. The corner is not very different from the many other ‘Blind’ corners or ‘dodgy’ places to cross the road in Rye. Pedestrian laziness is a key factor factor in road safety. This is because they risk their own welbeing rather to walk down the road where it is safer to cross, because the driver of a vehicle has a clearer view of them. An application of common sense will outweigh all barriers, restrictions etc.

  10. Most towns now have supermarkets on nearby retail parks. Why were Jempsons allowed to extend their shop to the pavement and reduce the size of their car park. Just imagine if Asda or Lidl were there with people doing their weekly shop, it would be chaotic.
    What this town needs is competition just out of town, say towards Rye Harbour.
    Tenterden and Hawkhurst have supermarket competition with smaller populations.

  11. The answer is simple really, for which the cost should be covered totally by Jempsons. Firstly to provide an extension to the zebra crossing, at the junction of Ferry Road and Cinque Ports Street. Secondly to install railings from the point where pedestrians cross the exit of Jempsons car park up to the vehicle entrance to the sorting office.

  12. I find it amazing this article is even in print. Before the extension was built the location was a car park with cars in it. Cars are solid objects that cannot be seen through. when driving around a blind bend drivers are to use the highway code just the same as drivers do whenever they turn on a bend anywhere. Sorry but can’t help but think this is complaining because it’s change.

  13. I’m afraid I have to agree with Neil Batty. I’ve driven that road many times since the extension to Jempsons and have neither sped that corner myself or seen others drive dangerously around that corner. If driven at a sensible and safe speed, it is possible for drivers to see what is in front of them before they proceed to mow down the population of Rye. I have also crossed the road as a pedestrian and have not yet been close to being run down. As for the mindless speedsters (mostly males it seems!) in their flash cars, wouldn’t they speed whatever the circumstances?
    Some people are just never satisfied when others try to make improvements, and, of course, you can never please everyone. Me? I like the nice new Jempsons and the road is fine.


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