Bridge gets thumbs down


Rye’s newest bridge has got the thumbs down from Rye Town Council’s Planning Committee, who will be complaining to Rother District Council’s Planning Enforcement department about it. The foot and cycle bridge is between the large, and still growing, new housing development in Valley Park and Cooper Road in Tilling Green and is a few hundred yards from the nearest bus stop in The Link by Tillingham Court.

At present the footpath down from the Valley Park homes leads into the Old Brickyard area which has unadopted roads, with no pavements and lots of puddles in wet weather, which join the Udimore Road either opposite West Undercliff or at the Mason Road junction. Old Brickyard residents had expressed concerns about safety issues given the lack of pavements.

However Valley Park residents heading for town on foot continue to go through the Brickyard, ignoring the bridge and despite large vehicles like the bin trucks which take up the whole of the narrow way, as it is the shortest route. The bridge does however help those wanting a bus or the Tilling Green shops, and was expected to be part of a cycle way around Rye serving the schools.

The Rye Town Steward has pointed out that the bridge is not where it was supposed to be in the planning application (as it starts in the Brickyard rather than in the Valley Park site), and there are various dangers including overhanging trees and in particular young cyclists riding at speed into the Cooper Road cul de sac. Councillors also commented that there had been a meeting with the developer Aroncorp about the application before the bridge was put up.

The bridge, over a small but usually dry and much overgrown ditch, which used to carry away surface water until it was built over in the 70s, is very close to large trees, including willows, which could make the surface very slippery. And, because the requested safety features have not been included, it could potentially be used by motorcycles. So Rye’s Council is asking Rother to look into why the bridge is not in the agreed place, or built with the agreed materials, or made safe. In the meantime most Valley Park pedestrians carry on going through the Brickyard.



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