Rye Harbour Cycle Path Update

By Brian Mathews


Recently I received a telephone call from James Harries, the officer from East Sussex County Council who has oversight of the cycle path development in this area.

He enquired if I had noticed the recent activity down Harbour Road. This activity had been the preparation work for the future construction of the new cycle path, which would be three meters wide. I was also told that there would be some delay due to difficulties in locating the landowners of small parcels of land south of Westlakes, going towards Rye. This will involve a Land Registry Search, which all takes time.

The afore mentioned problems will mean that the project will need to be broken up into three phases.

Phase one will be the section from Rye Harbour Village stretching to the industrial area.

Phase two will be through the industrial area to just south of Westlakes.

Phase three will take the path for the final section from Westlakes to the bridge.

I have mentioned to Mr. Harries the concern over which side on the road the cycle path is to be built. He has assured me that it will be on the western side, which looking from Rye to Rye Harbour would be on the right side. Logically this would mean that the cycle path would meet up with the footpath over the bridge.

Mr. Harries informed me that his department had expressed great enthusiasm for the project and were now determined to see it through. This assurance was gladly received by Jim Hollands Christopher Strangeways, Garry Cooper (who was with my son Graham at the time of the accident on 12th August 2004) and myself and Graham’s mother and the family.

I am so pleased that the cycle path is now going ahead as my family and myself would not wish anyone else to loose a close relative in such tragic circumstances.

Unfortunately I have recently heard of another accident involving a young cyclist in the same area. Though the injuries were serious they fortunately were not fatal.

A very big ‘thank you’ for the support from all those who signed the petitions which undoubtedly helped to get the wheels in motion. Also our thanks to Councillor Peter Jones who used his influence to get this project up and running. Keith Glazier is monitoring the situation in his position of Councillor for the Rye Harbour area.

Thanks to everyone who helped to get this much needed project under way.

In the near future everyone will have the joy of being able to travel to and from Rye Harbour on foot or by bike in safety instead of running the gauntlet as we do at this moment in time.

I will give “Rye’s Own” a further update in November of this year.

                         Footnote from the Editor.

Brian Mathews has mentioned and praised the efforts of everyone involved in the project except himself.

Let me put the record straight. Brian lost his Son on that tragic day just over a year ago. He was devastated as any Father would be, but instead of burying his head in the sand he was determined that something positive must come out of the needless death of a young man just setting out in life. His attitude was that no other family should suffer what he and his family had suffered for lack of a safe route for pedestrians and cyclists from Rye to Rye Harbour.

He has put hours of his time towards making this dream a reality. He has badgered Councillors, MPs, Council Officials, Editors, and everyone else whom he thought could help.

He went from business to business on the Harbour Road getting support for the pathway. He was welcomed wherever he went.

There have been many fatalities and injuries on this road over the years and he proposes that when the path is completed a plaque should be erected in memorial to all who have lost their lives on the treacherous stretch of road. I propose that the route should be named “Graham’s Way” as a tribute to the young man who lost his life and to his Father who worked so hard to see that further tragedies do not happen.

“Rye’s Own” September 2005

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