Vehicle pollution in Ferry Road


Long traffic queues and pedestrians build up either side of Rye’s Ferry Road level crossing stretching back (on one side) over the Tillingham Bridge and on the other back to the Kettle roundabout with a cloud of fumes rising over the vehicles, but a reader is concerned over the highways authority’s inaction. He writes :

“The County Council have reasons why nothing can be done as they can not currently install, or license the installation of, anti-idling signage at any location because:

1) There is limited evidence that anti-idling signage is particularly effective
2) There is a priority to reduce the amount of signage on the highway as this
can cause a distraction to drivers
3) The system of double white lines approaching a level crossing is classed as a controlled zone. This means that any signing within this area would require a specific Traffic Regulation Order
4) There does not appear to be any legislation that would allow for
enforcement against drivers who idle their engines whilst queuing in traffic.”

But are these reasons acceptable ?

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .

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  1. Is there not a case for asking why the gates need to be closed for quite so long, once both trains are in the station could they not be opened until both are ready to leave, gates shut, train leaves and gates open.

  2. Sounds to me like the “too difficult” light has come on at the County Council. Signage does work, it prompts people to switch off. When I lived in Eastbourne, my local train station was Hampden Park, which has a similar sign. The vast majority of vehicles would switch off their engines, and those that didn’t would attract stares from waiting pedestrians. Come on council, pull your finger out!

  3. This is well worth raising again. If the prospect of legal action* isn’t some incentive to find a way to erect signage and/or reduce waiting times (as Tony says), then surely there’s a moral imperative? Re behavioural science, there’s recent evidence (from a study in Kent) that behaviours can indeed be influenced in analogous circumstances.
    I would think the first thing to do would be to measure the levels of pollution at the level crossing at key times of day and gather evidence.

    * Kissi-Debrah case re the death of a child living on South Circular, where pollution was ruled to be a “key driver” of her asthma and material in her ultimate demise…

  4. I fail to understand why any motorist wants to leave their engine running, using fuel and polluting the atmosphere. The cars and lorries back up to Mason Road at times when the gates are closed, I’m sure signage would reduce this antisocial behaviour.

  5. This was raised, what 25 plus years ago. The reply at the time was “You never have to wait more than a minute and a half for a train at the barriers”.

    Of course,we all knew this was not always entirely accurate….


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