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Cycle path still not finished on 10th anniversary of cyclist’s death that secured council promise

Location in Rye where Graham Matthews lost life in 2004 is on incomplete section

A cycle path on a busy road that a council promised to install in Rye, East Sussex, following the death of a cyclist a decade ago today has still not been completed six years after work on it ceased – and won’t be finished until next year.

The parents of Graham Matthews, aged 22 when he was killed after being struck by a car on Rye Harbour Road on 12 August 2004, pushed East Sussex County Council to install the path, reports BBC News Sussex.

So far, 1.1 miles has been completed, but no work has been done on the final 400 yards, which includes the location where Mr Matthews was killed.

According to the council, which had said in 2007 that completing the facility was a priority but halted work the following year, the delay has been caused by problems related to ownership of the land and budget cuts.

The council’s leader, Keith Glazier, said: “These issues have now been resolved and we have funding in place to complete the final phase of the scheme."

Mr Matthews’ father, Brian Matthews, told the BBC that he had "been through hell over the last 10 years and I do not want anybody else to have to go through that."

He added that finishing the path would mean that “at least my son will not have died in vain as something will have come from his death."

Jim Hollands of Rye & District Wheelers, who have supported the campaign, said that the part of the path that is yet to be built is "in the worst place because its right on a blind corner."

In a post last week on the club’s Facebook page, he said: “The Wheelers were prime supporters of Graham's dad Brian, who was determined that no other cyclist or pedestrian should be killed on this road that had been promised various foot paths over a period of 40 years by governing bodies.

“None of these promises were fulfilled and 11 people were killed throughout those 40 years.”

He added that the council had initially put 200 yards of path in place, but it was only after Mr Matthews’ death and the ‘path to nowhere’ being featured on BBC local news that it took further action.

At lunchtime today, cyclists on the club’s weekly Tuesday run was due to head to the spot where the rider died to meet his father and observe a minute’s silence on the tenth anniversary of his death.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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