Speeding bikers, I won my bet

Community Speed Watch in operation - just what's needed around Rye.

I’ve never been a betting man, never bought a lottery ticket and I haven’t got a clue when it comes to odds, but sometimes in life you have to speculate to accumulate, throw caution to the wind, take calculated risks and follow your gut instinct which, so far through life, hasn’t done me any harm.

Recently I had a wager with a friend of mine, a measly £5 bet, hardly a George Soros moment but I won, it was a safe bet as unfortunately the outcome was predictable.

What on earth has this rambling got to do with speeding bikers I hear you ask? Well, in response to all the heated discussion about the bikers invading Rye I accepted the invitation to meet with the representatives of Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) who were making the effort to try and resolve some of the issues at Strand Quay which so many locals were up in arms about as reported in Rye News.

We met, measured decibel readings and reported the findings in Rye News. The floodgates of opinion opened once more but I think it’s fair to say the real problem with bikers coming to Rye was not the fact that they park on Strand Quay for nothing and not the fact that social distancing wasn’t always observed, (incidentally they were no closer than the hordes of visitors coming to Rye each weekend walking shoulder to shoulder) the main bone of contention was, and still is, the speed the minority travel at along the approach roads to Rye, often cheating death and with total disregard for anyone.

I wrote about a possible solution, Community Speed Watch (CSW) which is run by volunteers to record speeding bikers and motorists, submit their findings to the police who can then take the appropriate action. I gave the contact details and detailed information about their role, what powers they have and how they can be trained as volunteers.

Rye Town Council, in response to the level of unrest vented by disgruntled locals, set up the Rye CSW and had only delayed putting the programme into operation due to the constraints of the pandemic but also they were seeking additional volunteers to make it viable, as stated in Rye News by Rye Town Clerk, Richard Farhall.

With all the comments registered with Rye News and with all the publicity the biker problem had been given, you would expect there to be a waiting list of volunteers ready to sign up to CSW.

It’s true, we are now in the season where the numbers of visiting bikers will continue to reduce but come the better weather and the spring, this will change. In an ideal world our local CSW should have been in operation this spring and summer for it to have had a measurable and tangible effect but this world is far from perfect at present and this just wasn’t possible.

My wager was that nobody would volunteer to make up the numbers to make CSW a reality. It seems that all the huffing and puffing hasn’t converted into action, not one person came forward to volunteer and, as predicted I won my £5 bet.

Fear not, it’s not too late to volunteer, you can still register your interest by emailing richard.farhall@ryetowncouncil.gov.uk.

If I’m writing for Rye News next year I’ve no doubt I will be asked to report on the speeding bikers tearing up the tarmac on their way into town, there will be the annual shouting from the rooftops about how the council and the police should do something about it. Unfortunately, the reality is when offered the chance to make positive change the bikers made an effort, Rye Town Council made an effort, the solution was printed and put in front of everyone (including the vocal objectors) to take positive action but apathy had already set in and nothing changed.

As the weather begins to change we can all enjoy the relative peace and quiet on the approach roads to Rye in the seasonal absence of the biking fraternity but in due course the disruptive element will return. If nothing is done to make things better I would confidently wager that nothing will change, the screaming engines and blatant disregard for law and order will be with us each weekend, you can guarantee it, after all who’s stopping them?

Here’s your chance to have a flutter, eyes down ladies and gentlemen, place your bets please.

Image Credits: Rye News library .


  1. Maybe this just means that most are simply not as concerned as you seem to be?

    PS I wonder if their cameras work facing the other way?

  2. Why would people want to volunteer in winter when the amount of bikers have virtually vanished ? There’s hardly been any disruption since August. September was not a good month weather wise and the bikers stayed home. October has been cold and rainy .. again, hardly any bikers. Start your campaign again next spring 2021 and position yourself around Military Road where you can properly experience and witness the noise and breaking of the speed limit. Hanging around Strand Quay wont make you a witness to noise and speeding, the bikers have already slowed down. However, there’s still plenty of speeding cars on Rye Hill. As you’re a part of Rye Town Council, how about suggesting putting up some speed limit signs ?

  3. With new government effort to move to electric instead of petrol I think there is a great opportunity for Rother and especially Rye to insist on electric motorbikes only thru the town.

  4. Banning petrol motor bikes from coming through Rye is an interesting idea, where do you suggest they go instead bearing in mind that the road through Rye is the A259


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