Parking dominates council meeting

Pay and display is coming to the streets

At the monthly meeting of Rye Town Council this week (Monday, December 10), the question of CPE (civil parking enforcement) exercised the councillors for the greater part of the meeting.

The first round of consultations for the CPE plan ends on Monday, January 14 and if Rye Town Council are to make any comments on it, these need to be submitted to East Sussex County Council by then.

There is a misconception about the role of the county council in implementing CPE, and county councillor for Rye, Keith Glazier, clarified this.  The role of ESCC is a purely legal one. It is to take over from the police the responsibility for ensuring that parking regulations are complied with. This will require wardens who themselves will need an administration system. There is a cost to this which will be covered by charging for on street parking using a ‘pay and display’ system.

Councillor Glazier emphasised that it was not in the county’s remit to control off street parking or to be responsible for providing additional parking in areas not currently covered by the scheme. It was, he said, up to Rye and Rother to decide what was needed.

It was against this background that Councillor Harkness asked for a joined up approach by Rye Town Council, Rother District Council and ESCC to consider the effects of strict parking control and the requirement that will be needed for vehicles currently displaced from their existing (and often illegal) parking areas, in order to avoid unacceptable congestion in places not covered by parking controls – Military Road and some parts of Tilling Green were given as examples. He suggested that a working group should be set up to examine this and make recommendations.

Currently, said Rother Councillor Lord Ampthill, Rye has some 531 spaces in six car parks and there is a need, he suggested, for around 1,500 additional spaces within, say, a ten minute walk of the High Street – this would also provide commuter parking should the Javelin train ever come to Rye.

He went on to say that one solution would be to use the old lower school site as a two-storey car park, which would cover the additional requirement and be available for long term season ticket parking as well as casual users. This would however, depend on the result of a residential planning application due to be presented for this space.

The intention behind the CPE scheme was generally agreed to be good, but it was only when it was examined in detail that some of the drawbacks were becoming evident and it was for this reason, Councillor Harkness argued, that a committee was needed to examine all the implications for the whole town and to report accordingly.

This was put to a vote which resulted in a split council – six for and six against. No alternative plan of action was put forward by any of the six against, which included three former mayors  and, with the casting vote from the mayor, the motion was agreed. The mayor, Councillor Boyd, did however make the point that the committee, comprising five councillors, needed to get on with it and be ready to report to a special council meeting on Monday, January 14. As this is closing day for submissions to ESCC, Councillor Glazier agreed an extension of one day to allow time for the submission to be sent, following the council meeting.

Image Credits: Rye News library.


  1. Why not build a multi story car park where the Rye market is held every Thursday. The market could then have the ground floor which would be under cover and more people could visit the market and local shops. I personally avoid shopping and appointments on Thursdays as it is impossible to get a parking space, and I suspect many other people do the same.

  2. After some 5 years of toil on the Rye Neighbourhood Plan it is of regret that some Councillors are clearly unaware of the its scope. Of the many aspects covered in the Plan one is a “joined up approach ” to traffic issues including parking. This was underscored at the Council meeting but is not reported. If new policy is adopted we will have to modify the Plan before the present consultation is complete on 11 January 2019.

  3. Commuters have long asked for more parking at station as Councillor Lord Ampthill is well aware.

    It is virtually impossible for commuters to park in station car park on Thursday after 0730 & even earlier in the summer.

    Just hope commuters are not going to expected to have fork even more money to pay for it in parking charges. As we are currently paying far too much as it is for our annual season tickets.

  4. We should not confuse the need for CPE, to get the existing parking restrictions enforced, with a root and branch re-think of parking. We have waited years for RDC to agree to CPE and to free up parking in the town. Don’t forget if the police were enforcing the existing restrictions then we would already have the displaced cars referred to in the article. It will take at least another 12 months before CPE is rolled out which gives time for RDC and RTC to come together and look for long-term solutions.

  5. The problem is that motorists do not want to walk, they want to park within yards of the shop they wish to visit and they also want to park for free: hence the High Street and nearby streets have a problem. Rye High Street is also at the top of a hill, which make it difficult for the not so nimble to gain access. Therefore part of the planning for the high street parking control will need a free to stop drop off and collect passengers zone. Whereby the driver is not allowed to leave the vehicles driver seat; unless assisting a passenger to enter or leave the vehicle. The zone will also need a limited wait time, to prevent drivers waiting in their vehicles whilst their passenger goes shopping! It would also need to be a restricted disabled parking zone, whereby a registered disabled vehicle cannot be left unattended. There is still a lot to be considered to make the controlled zone work well.


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