New hope has emerged that “Graham’s Way”, the cycle footpath from Rye Harbour to Rye, will at last, be completed. The pathway was fought for by Brian Matthews whose son Graham was killed on the dangerous path-less road that claimed eleven lives over a period of forty years.
Brian Matthews, supported by the people of Rye Harbour and the Rye & District Wheelers vowed that no one else should die on the notorious section of road and put enormous pressure on East Sussex County Council to ‘stop promising and start building’ a safe route for walkers and cyclists.
It seemed that their efforts had been successful. Work started that very same year. Funding was complete and the cycle route more than three quarters complete when, for some ridiculous reason, the constructors were told to cross the road and continue back on the other side of the road!
So now we have an £800,000 project ending on the most dangerous part of the road, where those using the path have to walk or cycle into the road and proceed round a blind corner to complete their journey. Meanwhile the materials that should have been used for them to continue their journey safely make up a cycle path to nowhere on the opposite side of the road, that, to my knowledge, is very rarely walked or cycled on.
Brian Matthews is not a man that will go away. He has continued to pester ESCC and at last there might be light at the end of the tunnel. Chris Tree, a senior transport planner at East Sussex County Council, has told him there are plans afoot to complete the path, albeit not quite so wide as on the original plan, but it will mean that there will be a safe way of getting from where the path ends now to the Winchelsea Road Sluice.
Rye Wheelers have promised Brian and ESCC that they will turn out in force when the route is complete and follow Brian from Rye Harbour to Rye the day of the official opening.
What a wonderful thing it would be if that day could be Tuesday 12 August – The Tenth Anniversary of the death of Graham Matthews.
Come on East Sussex, finish what you started. Woe betide you if another person is killed coming off the unfinished pathway.
Off the end of the Cycle Path and onto the busy Harbour Road. OK for experienced cyclists but not for children
From the February 2014
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