Long road to parking reform

A typical example of Rye's parking problems where a car prevents a bus from turning the corner into Landgate

The long and slow process of introducing Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) in Rye has taken another step closer. At a recent stakeholder meeting, Rother District Council (RDC) brought together a range of groups, including Rye town councillors, to discuss and agree a way to tackle illegal parking across the district.
Attendees at the meeting were posed the three questions, previously covered in Rye News, relating to the introduction of CPE and who should cover the cost of parking.
The meeting heard that the introduction of CPE could take approximately 18 to 24 months to apply for and implement. The CPE application process will involve East Sussex County Council (ESCC) completing detailed studies across the district, as well as undertaking a consultation exercise with the public/relevant organisations where all forms of parking options would be considered, for example road markings, payment machines and permit schemes.
The meeting heard that it would be important to design a fair scheme that was self-financing and that all fees and charges would be annually reviewed. It was also thought important that parking charges should be affordable and relate to local wages and offer a number of different ways to pay – such as via contactless or smartphone/app payments.
The meeting agreed that road markings would need to be refreshed in places, especially where double yellow lines have faded, and that all car-park signage be reviewed and updated, particularly directing drivers to long-stay and little-used car parks such as at Gibbet Marsh.
Attendees agreed that it was important to discourage all-day on street parking, unless with a valid permit. ESCC confirmed that time restrictions could be introduced, adaptations/adjustments made to suit specific locations, and that parking displacement would be monitored and annually reviewed.
Sussex Police would continue to enforce dangerous parking infringements, subject to available resources, in the run-up to the introduction of CPE, although as most residents in Rye currently know, this rarely occurs.
RDC is leading the changes via its Civil Parking Enforcement Task and Finish Group. The Group is presenting its findings and recommendations to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on March 19, for referral to Cabinet on April 9 and then full Council on May 21. In addition, there is the possibility of RDC partnering with Wealden District Council, which is also considering adopting CPE, and this could achieve economies of scale. Timescales therefore might change so watch this space.
For a full breakdown of the minutes of the stakeholder meeting go to Rother′s website.

Photo: John Minter


  1. I think Rye High Street should be pedestrianized and parking bollards installed that only allow delivery vans and lorries to access the shops.

  2. Brian Matthews is absolutely correct. It has been suggested many times that the High Street should be for shoppers . It is NOT a parking lot!
    But we must make provision for residents , the emergency services, and the disabled , and provide them with access. What about the often suggested ‘Park and Ride’ scheme?
    Rye is still ‘the jewel in the crown’ in Rother, so hopefully something will be done soon before it dies!

  3. Pedestrianise the Citadel (say between 0930 and 1730) and the question of parking becomes largely irrelevant. Why is this apparently such a controversial proposal?
    Residents who have off-street parking could be exempt, as would emergency vehicles.
    A park and ride scheme would take care of hotel guests with luggage, as well as those of impaired mobility.
    All deliveries would have to take place first thing in the morning (a requirement which already exists, say, in central Paris).
    Just yesterday a police car on an emergency call was unable to navigate the High Street because of a long traffic jam caused by a delivery lorry outside the George and a motorist maneuvering laboriously into an illegal parking space. Allow any traffic access to the town and they will abuse it. The answer is to remove traffic altogether. Other towns nearby have done this (Lewes, Canterbury, etc), at least in part. Why does Rye town council find the idea so alien?

  4. It was suggested a few years ago about a park and ride scheme,and it was turned down by the then Council, congestion in the high street is caused by pinch points at top of hilders cliffs, top of East Street, and outside Edinburgh wool,time for large bollards to be put in place,until our parking problems are sorted.

  5. Pedestrianisation of the High Street would ultimately lead to the end of the high street. Many of the shop keepers rely on the passing traffic for customers to stop and go again, there is no doubt that a solution to the parking issues is required yet the idea of stopping traffic accessing the high street would also increase the issue of parking as there is limited parking within the town. Sadly there is a lack of support of many of the shops In the town by the locals which ultimately means the town is becoming more tourist reliant.

  6. What was clear from the public meeting at Rother (which I attended on behalf of Rye Conservation Society) was that the commitment to CPE is both firm and well-advanced in planning terms. Given this I think it would be unwise to consider short-term solutions for different parts of the town in isolation. There are problems with most such schemes; as outlined above, pedestrianisation of the High Street would affect small businesses; banning traffic from the Citadel area would seriously inconvenience residents. There are already restrictions on delivery times, but these are ignored. Restrictions for the loading bay outside the George are also ignored as are the time limits on double yellow lines, pavement parking and more. It is not therefore a matter of introducing regulations, but of enforcing those that are already there, which CPE will enable. I believe we should start from there, and if there are continuing issues then address these as we go along.
    Just to underline the forward thinking at ESCC’s Highways division it has already noted that restrictions in the town will push parking to the margins, and is already considering the likely effects on Military Road and Love Lane.
    In summary then; things are moving, and we should wait.


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