Pedestrians reclaim the streets


Fed up with being forced into the path of traffic by poorly parked vehicles, or having to avoid being mown down by cars and vans mounting the pavements, locals and visitors had their revenge at the jazz festival last weekend.

Many free events took place at the Butter Market, outside the town hall. For the most popular events, the organisers put out chairs across the road, effectively blocking it. Though a “road ahead closed” sign was put up, it was placed immediately in front of the hundred odd occupied seats, rendering it rather redundant.

A reveller dances in the empty street by the road closed and diversion signs
A reveller dances in the empty street by the road closed and diversion signs

Unsuspecting drivers turned up East Street, perhaps looking for a parking space (ha!) only to find their way down Market Street very definitively blocked. Reversing down East Street and back into the High Street proved too much of a challenge for many, who slipped down Pump Street in desperation, only to find themselves negotiating the cobbles of Church Square, accidentally finding themselves dead ended at the bottom of Watchbell Street, before finding their freedom through West Street.

Oh well, it makes a nice change having cars and vans inconvenienced by pedestrians rather than the other way around.

Photos: Seana Lanigan

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  1. I fail to find this amusing. There are better ways of making your point. Not all people of Rye want it to be Pedestrians only. Better to have put road ahead close d at the bottom of East Street, especially as reversing back down East Street would have been quite dangerous.

  2. What a resounding success the Jazz festival was,it is great to see so many locals and visitors having a good time,congratulations to the organisers long may it continue.

  3. Road closures normally require getting an “Order” agreed, suitably publicising it in advance, and then getting adequate signage put up in the right places ; and I’m not sure the Citadel, including the East Street one way, is particularly well signposted.

    As a non-driver I can’t say whether there was adequate signposting for the Festival, but this year I have seen cars (and lorries) going the wrong way on at least four occasions.

    I always thought it was a giveaway if all the parking was pointing in one direction, but this does not appear to be so !


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