Following the Opinion article by Charles Harkness last week on parking, pavements and pedestrians, and on which we have received significant feedback from readers, East Sussex County Council has issued the following statement on the progress towards the system of civil parking enforcement intended to alleviate the worst of the problems:
As you may be aware there have been a number of concerns raised about the lack of parking enforcement in Rother district. The enforcement of on-street parking restrictions across Rother is currently the responsibility of Sussex Police as a criminal matter under the Road Traffic Act. The top priority for Sussex Police is the prevention and detection of crime. They cannot give parking enforcement the level of attention that the public might expect and state they will only take action on parking issues where there is a safety concern.
We have worked with Rother District Council (RDC) to look at how parking enforcement can be improved. As a result of this we will be applying for permission to the Department for Transport to introduce civil parking enforcement (CPE) across Rother district. This is a lengthy process and we do not anticipate CPE being introduced until 2020.
Adoption of CPE powers is anticipated to improve enforcement and have the following benefits:
- reduce and ease congestion,
- improve traffic flow – benefiting the economy and the environment;
- maintain access for the emergency services and
- be self-financing.
Under government legislation, all council operated parking schemes must be self-financing. This means income from council tax and business rates cannot be used to fund the operation and enforcement of our parking schemes across the county. To comply with legislation we need to set parking charges that will make sure we cover the operational costs and will pay back the initial set up costs of introducing the scheme. Parking income will primarily come from the cost of permits and pay and display parking charges.
Following a review of parking concerns and discussions with RDC we have developed a proposal for a parking scheme in Rother district which includes:
- introducing permit holder parking in Bexhill, Battle and Rye,
- introducing pay and display parking at some locations where there are existing time limited parking bays in Battle, Bexhill, Robertsbridge and Rye,
- introducing shared permit holder and time limited parking in Bexhill and Battle,
- a number of minor changes to existing parking restrictions and formalising existing school “keep clear” markings.
We will be writing writing to residents, businesses and other stakeholders to provide information about the proposals in your area and to invite comments on the proposed changes. The accompanying map shows an overview of the proposed changes to the existing parking restrictions and proposals for additional restrictions.
Please visit our website, from Monday, November 19 onward, where there will be more information and please take the time to complete the online questionnaire. Alternatively you can visit Bexhill, Battle or Rye library to complete the questionnaire online via a public access computer or to pick up a paper copy.
We will also be holding public exhibitions where you are invited to come and view the proposals and discuss these with us. In Rye these will be at the Town Hall, Market Street on Friday, November 30 and Saturday, December 1 from 9am to midday and 2pm to 8pm.
The level of support will determine the outcome of this initial consultation and we would urge you to look at the proposals and submit your comments. All comments received during this round of consultation will be analysed and help determine the final scheme proposals. Comments can be made via the website at the above link.
The consultation opens on Monday, November 19 and closes on Monday, January 14. We will only be able to consider comments received by the closing date.
If the proposals are taken forward, we will draft the supporting traffic regulation orders (TRO) and these will be advertised allowing 21 days for the formal consultation period. If we do not receive any objections the parking restrictions will be introduced as advertised and the TRO will come into effect 14 days following the end of the formal consultation period.
Any objections received during the formal consultation period will be reported to the planning committee for a final decision on whether or not to implement the proposals.
Image Credits: Gerard Reilly , ESCC .