Graham’s Way will be Officially Opened Next Tuesday
“Rye’s Own” Reports :-
It is almost eleven years since Graham Matthews was knocked off his bike on Rye Harbour Road and killed.
This was a notoriously dangerous stretch of road to anyone walking as there were no places to get off the road, the verges were covered in brambles and undergrowth right up to the edge of the turnpike.
The road was a hazard to cyclists because it was straight and not speed controlled. It was extremely dangerous just after sunrise and just before sunset. We understand there were eleven fatalities on the one and a half mile stretch of road from 1945 up to the time of Graham’s untimely death at the age of Twenty-Two in 2004. There have been two motor cycle fatalities since.
Within a week of his funeral, his father Brian Matthews had started a campaign to get a cycle / footway built between Rye & Rye Harbour.
He enlisted the help of the people of Rye harbour, got a petition going that saw several thousands of signatures, found support from Rye & District Wheelers, “Rye’s Own” and “Rye Observer. He got permission from every business on the Road for the Cycle/Footpath to cross their entrance.
He arranged a meeting with Peter Jones, Leader of East Sussex County Council and invited representatives from Rye Wheelers, Rye’s Own, Rye Observer, and Environment to attend, along with Graham’s friend who had been cycling with him and witnessed the accident and aftermath.
Peter Jones would not accept local builder Stuart Pope’s quote to build the cycle/footway for £200,000 (six feet wide including trunking for lighting) and have it completed by the end of 2005.
Instead, East Sussex choose contractors they had used before and built the path in stages. It is up to nine feet wide in places but has taken ten years to construct at a cost of £1,200,000.
The route will be officially named by Mayor of Rye, Councillor Bernardine Fiddimore as “Graham’s Way”, a suggestion made by “Rye’s Own” who have always referred to it by this name.
The Opening Ceremony will take place on the Cycle / Footway opposite the Kingdom Hall at 12 Noon on Tuesday 15th. September, close to the spot where Graham lost his life.
The family of Graham Matthews; Berni Fiddimore (The Mayor of Rye); Jim Hollands (President Rye & District Wheelers); Councillor Carl Maynard (ESCC Lead Member for Transport); Various Local Councillors; Kier Construction; Members of Rye Wheelers; and members of the Rye & Rye Harbour public will be in attendance.
Speaking : Jim Hollands, Berni Fiddimore, Cllr Maynard and Brian Matthews.
Everyone who has used the Cycle / Footway are welcome to come along and celebrate the opening of “Graham’s Way” and to remind local and ESCC members that a proper cycle / footpath should now be built around the town, linking the Camber and Cadborough Cliff cycle/footways.
“Rye’s Own” 8 September 2015
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