Pavements are a disgrace

The junction of High Street and Market Road

This article is prompted by news of yet another person falling down in the street, having tripped on an uneven pavement. Jocelyn Rowe was walking along Wish Ward when she fell, suffering extensive bruising and facial damage. “I was very shaken,” she remarked afterwards, “the state of the pavements is clearly hazardous – it is quite shocking to see how many paving stones are broken, uneven or loose.“

A badly seated drain cover in Wish Ward

Other falls have been reported from various parts of the town, with Market Road being mentioned several times, but also Cinque Ports Street and the High Street have witnessed incidents.

More elderly residents such as my wife have lost the confidence to walk along the street because they are terrified of falling again. Yet nothing has been done to see that the pavements are properly repaired and maintained.

It is difficult to identify on camera one particular hazard spot over another, because the degree of unevenness does not stand out on film.

It may be a raised manhole drain cover, a cast iron pavement drain gully or an unexpected raised curb that creates the safety risk.

To select just two examples, crossing the top of Market Road from the leather shop to Simon Milne’s is extremely dangerous for pedestrians. And I have tripped coming up Market Road opposite the delicatessen, fortunately without being hurt, but embarrassingly in front of my daughter who happened to be standing there.

It is a likely that the recent pandemic lockdowns have contributed to a reduction in people’s mobility and general fitness, including their sense of balance, but that is a factor to be taken into account in meeting the needs of an ageing population.

In this election year for county council office, it is to be hoped that overdue attention will be given towards making Rye pavements safer. Please write in with your experience to

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .


  1. We all must agree our pavements and streets in Rye are in a shocking state,and what gets done from our district councils, NOTHING, those in power talk big about the problem parking in front of the former night club in ferry road,but the illegal parking continues, Cinque Ports street pavements opposite the DIY is a disgrace,broken pavements continually being parked on, as people pop in here and there, blocking pedestrians and mobility scooters a clear path, as for market road the problem at the top will never be solved as cars,and vans drive over the pavement, the most sensible idea would be to pedestrianise if from the dry cleaners to the top,with access only permitted to residents and the rear of the library, but of course any sensible suggestions to improve Rye,over the years has fallen on deaf ears.

  2. i agree that the pavement at the top of Market Road is being damaged by vehicles. Even with the new parking regulations, and despite there being legal spaces outside Herringtons, people still park on the double yellow lines opposite this junction leaving cars no option but to drive over the pavement when turning into Market Road. This is, of course, also dangerous for any pedestrian on that section of pavement at that time.

  3. The very narrow, several yards-long strip of pavement just short of the rail crossing in Ferry Road on the same side as the Queen Adelaide pub, is a hazard in daylight and especially after dark, as it consists of ruts that can be avoided only by stepping out onto the road with its almost constant stream of cars going both ways. is the Council waiting for someone to fall and break a leg (best case scenario) or – worst case scenario – be killed by tripping and falling under a car whizzing by two feet away?


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