In a town such as Rye, much of it built in the days of the horse and cart, modern-day traffic is always going to be a problem. In summer the problem becomes worse with the many thousands of visitors attracted to our town needing somewhere to park their cars.
A few years ago it was a free-for-all with vehicles paying no heed to double yellow lines or No Parking signs. This has largely been resolved in the town centre by the introduction of new parking controls monitored by wardens. Outside the town centre, however, it is a different matter.
Take Military Road as an example. At one time, while it has always been a well-used route into Rye from the east, the few hundred yards from its junction at the bottom of Rye Hill is wide and despite residents cars parked on one side, could easily accommodate two-way traffic. Anyone using the road now, however, will find it packed with vehicles on both sides, leaving, at one point, just a narrow single lane gap for cars, vans and lorries to squeeze through.
It is only a question of time before there is an accident even though this situation was foreseen at the time of the introduction of the town-centre controls. In fact, not only was it foreseen, but East Sussex County Council were warned on numerous occasions by Rye Town Council that this was the likely consequence of Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) controls and should be taken into consideration.
Sadly these warnings fell on deaf ears and the best that could be obtained was a promise from Rye’s county councillor (who as leader of the council, one can assume is not without influence there) that after a year a survey and consultation would be carried out to determine whether any adjustments to the scheme would be required.
After a reminder of this in Rye News, a survey of a sort was commissioned. So far as we are aware, no-one from the contractors conducting the survey actually set foot in the town but a survey form was sent to residents. It consisted of just three questions on how we, as residents, used our cars within the town centre – questions that would have been far more appropriate for people living outside Rye who might need to use their cars to travel in.
There was no attempt to address the problem of where vehicles, displaced from the centre, might park and despite airing this subject in these columns some while ago, there has been no response from our county councillor.
This is not a situation which should be allowed to continue. Military Road is just an example and the same problem applies to Love Lane, Tilling Green, Udimore Road and virtually all unrestricted roads within a short walk of the High Street.
We are not being well served by the authority that is supposed to work on our behalf – and to whom we pay taxes. Both East Sussex County Council (ESCC) and Rother District Council have an involvement, but the lead council when it comes to local roads is ESCC and it is simply not doing its job.
Image Credits: John Minter .