Pen & Ink

Dear Editor,Several times a week I have occasion to risk life and limb by running the gauntlet of the Rye Harbour Road. Despite the assurances in the September issue of Rye’s Own of work in progress on the Rye Harbour Road Cycle Path, I can assure readers of the October issue that absolutely nothing is happening. Sending out a couple of workmen in yellow jackets for a photo opportunity comes easy. Constructing a cycle path is quite a different proposition.

I have long been dismayed by the tendency of the Rye & Battle Observer to print the press releases from Bexhill and Lewes without checking the facts but I had begun to hope for better from Rye’s Own. One anecdote from an eye witness is worth a dozen press releases from the PR fraternity. The Highways Agency and its local agents the Rye Partnership have their own agenda which, I believe, is the Rye Bypass. In similar manner Rother District Council has its own priorities; warehousing over Castle Waters for the benefit not of local interests but to line the District Council coffers. Understand this and you will understand that all the rest is weasel words from the politicians.

If you wait for East Sussex County Council to deliver you will wait a very long time. The people of Rye and Rye Harbour should learn a thing or two from the Romany Gypsies and the Irish Travellers and force the pace by sending out a gang of real working men on Guy Fawkes Night to bulldoze their own ‘Peoples’ Pathway’ between Rye and Rye Harbour.

The interests of our elected political dictatorships as they ride roughshod over our local affairs are not the safety of those of us who walk and cycle between Rye and Rye Harbour but their own salaries and pensions and the good opinions of the politburo and mafias that maintain their power over our purse strings.

Peter Etherden                                         Vemara,Rye Harbour Road

I can assure you Peter that “Rye’s Own” has not been using Press Releases in the battle to get a Cycle / Footpath along the Rye Harbour Road. In conjunction with Brian Mathews (the father of Graham who was knocked off his bike and killed just one year ago), the Rye Wheelers and Christopher Strangeways (Environment) a promise had been extracted from East Sussex County Council that work will begin on stage one of the Cycle Path this Autumn. The following e-mail from James Harris BSc (Hons) Team Leader -Transport Strategy (East) East Sussex County Council Transport & Environment Department County Hall Lewes

“You will no doubt be happy to learn that we have gone straight to detailed design for the cycleway, and have dispensed with the feasibility and preliminary design stages to speed the process up. A project engineer is also now engaged on the project. The cycleway will be constructed along the western side of Harbour Road, and will be split into phases, as each section seems to present their own particular challenges. The cycleway will be a shared facility, offering both pedestrians and cyclists a safe route, and is being designed to a 3m wide standard. At the moment, officers in our Lands Section are ascertaining the ownership of a couple of strips of land which will be required to construct the cycleway. This can be quite time consuming, as ownership needs to be established through searches through the Land Registry. Once ownership has been established, a period of negotiation needs to be undertaken to secure the land for our use, and we intend to construct the southern section of the route (From Rye Harbour Village to the sluice gate before the Industrial Area [approx 500 metres]) during this financial year i.e. by end of March 2006.”

This seems to indicate that work may not be started by the end of October but that the first stage will be completed by the end of March. The big change I see in the project is that the width has been increased from 2m (6′) to 3m (9′), to my mind and experience this is an ample width to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians safety. Ed.

                     1945 Freedom & Democracy for RyeLidene

                                                  2005 ?

From “Rye’s Own “ November 2005

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