Wheelers Open Letter to Tony Blair

The Wheelers Letter to Mr. Blair

Dear Prime Minister

Members of the Rye & District Wheelers have decided that you should be informed of a terrible act of neglect by local government here in Rye.

A lad was knocked off his bike and killed in a most horrible way on a notorious 2 mile stretch of road that leads from Rye to the village of Rye Harbour, he was just 22 years old.

Over the past twenty years, this road, which has neither footpath or cycle road, has claimed several lives and caused injury to many others. Each accident has brought forth more promises from the authorities that something would be done – nothing ever has.

Thirty miles away, just the other side of the Channel, there are miles and miles of cycle roads and separated footpaths, no doubt built with European money which we have contributed to. These are proper Tarmac roads and paths. Surely there should be no more excuses, a cycle path and separate footpath should be constructed forthwith on this dangerous road to prevent any further tragedies.

We are told you are a Prime Minister of the calibre of Winston Churchill. He would have brushed all the red tape aside and told the relevant authorities to stop making excuses and start work tomorrow. We are pinning our hopes on you.

Yours Respectfully,

The Rye Wheelers.

Copies sent to all local Government Leaders, Offices, Agencies, Services, Clubs, Societies and Publications.

We invite replies which “Rye’s Own” has offered to publish .

These were the replies received at the time of going to press.

First a helpful letter from Michael Foster Member of Parliament for Rye.

Dear Rye Wheelers

Thank you for your letter of the 15th September (received on the 5th October) enclosing a copy letter sent to the Prime Minister.

I trust that you will receive a response from the Prime Minister although it is only fair to say that as regards to this particular issue it is the responsibility of the County Council to take action and as they are the locally elected authority the Prime Minister cannot overrule their decisions.

I note however that you have copied the letter to your “local Government leaders” by which I assume you mean your County Councillors, as they are the ones who will have the ability to take this issue forward on your behalf.

For my part I have also written to the County Council to ask them to consider what you say. Although I have no political influence over them they are usually good enough to take on board my representations on behalf of constitutes.

I will let you know what they have to say and hope my involvement will help your campaign.

Best Wishes

Yours Sincerely

Michael Foster DL MP

The “Rye Observer” made an excellent reply on page three of the 8 October issue which mentioned the Cycling Club’s letter to the PM and drew a reply from Tanya Herbert of the East Sussex County Council. “It is still where it was. It will happen but we don’t have a time frame at the moment. It is part of a larger scheme and they are trying to identify funding.”

A very negative reply from her and the buck is passed to ‘they’ !

Rother District Council Leader Graham Gubby  Passed the Buck
Rother District Council Leader Graham Gubby
Passed the Buck

A reply directly to the Wheelers from Rother Leader Councillor Graham Gubby. “Thank you for your letter, the contents of which have been noted. For your information I have passed your letter to Councillor Bill Clements, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Safeguarding Health and Public Safety, requesting that he investigates the points you have raised and reply to you direct.”

Another case of passing the buck. Mr. Gubby should be made aware that the buck should stop at the leader.

Rye Town Manager Yolanda Laybourne

“Can confirm that I’ve talked with Sara Anderton in Planning at Rother District Council. She seemed both interested and sympathetic. She’s taken a copy of your letter, and she’s going to liaise with County Council. I’ll stay in touch with her, and I’ll be sure to pass on any news to you”

The Town Manager is on the right track, getting in touch with planning and monitoring progress.

A spokesman from the Rye Wheelers told “Rye’s Own” that the club looks forward to hearing the views of all the other agencies contacted. There is talk of some form of demonstration on the Harbour Road if action is not taken in the very near future. All replies and comments from readers will be published in the next issue.

From the November 2004 Issue of “Rye’s Own”

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