Thursday August 22 was a lovely sunny day, the town was packed with visitors, the market was in full swing and the traffic descended as expected. All was well until the double yellow lines started to attract those who disregard them.
The fun started when the daily delivery drivers began arriving. They have a job to do and are an essential part of everyday life in Rye but if their destinations were accessed via East Street then their day got off to a bad start.
In addition to the usual traffic chaos, (which you get used to, living in a tourist town) there was an unusually high number of drivers who decided to park on double yellow lines without a second thought for anyone else. Nothing new there I know but this time their total disregard had some major knock-on effects.
The first photo shows two cars, each parked opposite each other, on a bend with bollards and both on double yellow lines, brilliant! The space between them was only just big enough to squeeze a normal saloon between them. The fun started when the first delivery van arrived.
Not a chance of getting through, the driver had no choice but to park half on the pavement, half on the road, also on double yellow lines. Behind him a young mum with children in tow had driven up East Street hoping to meet family for lunch. She had to reverse down the wrong way along East Street to meet the oncoming traffic on the High Street.
The van followed her. I spent the next 25 minutes stopping traffic entering East Street as there was nowhere they could go. Eventually the driver of one of the illegally parked cars returned having finished his tea at a local tea rooms and the situation got better. Or so we thought.
A large lorry was expected with a planned delivery destined to be dropped off at the Kino courtyard. Due to the brilliant driving skills of the young driver he managed to squeeze between two more “yellow liners” and eventually made it to his destination.
While he was unloading, a car arrived and parked on Lion Street, half on the pavement and half on double yellows. The driver displayed his blue badge in the window and was seen running from his car with his crutches under his arm to the Kino where we believe he watched a film and eventually returned to move his car.
Due to the skill and dexterity of the lorry driver who, showed remarkable patience throughout all of this, he managed to somehow get his lorry past this “blue badge” car to the amazement of watching shopkeepers and proceeded to get on with his day, what was left of it.
Just another chaotic and frustrating day in central Rye but you can’t help but think what if there was another serious fire, what if there were an incident which required an emergency vehicle. Let alone the frustration and wasted time this causes, they simply couldn’t get there to help!
What if careless parking costs someone their life? It hasn’t happened yet but unless things change and drivers play by the rules this may not be too far away.
Image Credits: Nick Forman .