On Sunday, May 17 I realised just how quiet the last few weeks had been as the bikers took the prime minister’s ‘Stay Alert’ as a call for freedom to do as they wish and go back to normal.
From 7:30am onward the deafening noise of bikers revving up and down the A259 was not what people on Strand Quay hoped for, or the town for that matter, as no cafes/restaurants, nor toilets were supposed to be open.
Eventually there were about 60 bikes on Strand Quay and some overflow parked on the pavement outside the heritage centre. As I took the picture below I was seconds too late to click on a guy peeing in the corner of two houses opposite Strand Court.
In some way it was a sad day in terms of people taking responsibility for themselves (there was not much distancing between the bikers) or others. Some of the individuals went into a cafe that was open, probably for “take away”, and on Saturday, May 16 there was a long queue outside the Kettle o’Fish. We can accuse the government having made some wrong choices and possibly this one, of stopping lockdown too early because of the economy, may be another.
However, in the end we all have to take personal responsibility and use common sense, especially if one goes outside one’s own area. Unfortunately ‘Staying Alert’ does not seem to work. Can the police do more? Not really. They had to be along all the East Sussex sea front and were seen in Camber and at Strand Quay, but to no avail.
From news reports we know that Hastings beach was more or less respected, not so Camber apparently where all the car parks were full. But my question concerning our local town is where are the Rye town councillors? Have they met at all on Zoom, to look at the problem which will become worse as the weather gets better?
Our local MP, Sally Ann Hart, has written to the government, being concerned about the refugees arriving at our coast and maybe having the virus. That may be so, but hundreds of people descending in the next few days/weeks (people are still furloughed so free to travel and relax) to the south coast surely is more dangerous in the scheme of things.
It would be good if we heard from Sally Ann Hart, with some clarification of what the government’s plans are during lock down and the plan for ‘Stay Alert’.
The Hastings/Rye Observer (May 15) reports that in fact East Sussex County Council held their first virtual full meeting on May 12, to discuss the development of an economic recovery plan for East Sussex after the Covid-19 lockdown ends. And it is now May 17, and have we heard anything? What will be the help, who can people or businesses contact?
We need to hear from Rother District Council, East Sussex County Council and Rye Town Council, and the latter don’t need to all sit in one room. And we, the locals, continue to isolate – fearful of visitors with no masks.
[Editor’s note : The Times reported this week that the Department of Transport is considering new powers to curb illegal exhausts on motorbikes making excessive noise]
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Image Credits: Heidi Foster .