Council withdraws CPE support

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A parking meter in Eastbourne, and these meters could be occupying our pavements soon

At a special meeting of Rye Town Council on Monday September 16, parking, in the form of civil parking enforcement (CPE) was the only item on the agenda, with the council required to decide on whether or not to comment on the ESCC’s formal consultation.

The public gallery was fuller that usual – mainly with traders, property owners and other parties likely to be immediately affected by the new arrangements. In time allowed for public comment it was clear that neither the existing free-for-all nor the proposed changes were wanted, but no workable solution was proposed.

Delivery vans can can cause problems now but would this be helped by distant loading bays?

The main problem with CPE, the council felt, was that it was a one-size-fits-all policy which was designed around large towns such as Bexhill or Hastings, but took no account of Rye’s particular circumstances and problems.

The size of parking meters and their proposed locations were often inappropriate, particularly bearing in mind the narrowness of many pavements, and there were problems too with deliveries – the strict unloading requirements would mean many businesses would have to have goods trollied for some distance from where they were unloaded, particularly unsatisfactory for businesses such as pubs and restaurants, with heavy barrels and frozen and chilled foods to be moved.

There was also considerable concern about the knock-on effects in areas such as Love Lane, Tilling Green, Military Road and even Valley Park. All these – Military Road in particular – are already starting to see parked cars causing congestion and this would be increased dramatically if more vehicles, forced out of the town centre, were provided with nowhere else to park. Gibbets Marsh car park was very underused (and under signposted), but even if fully used, would not be large enough to hold all the displaced vehicles plus summer visitors’ cars.

A sight not seen much since the police have removed themselves from any serious attempt to help resolve the problem

The mayor reminded the council that they had originally approved, in principle, the adoption of CPE, but this was before the details of how it would be operated were known. The council were also reminded that Rye had once proposed, jointly with Battle, to employ their own wardens to enforce parking rules, but, although agreed by everyone else, that had been stymied by the chief constable and the police and crime commissioner who had refused approval, while at the same time declining to deal with the problem themselves.

A number of suggestions for a comment to ESCC were made, ranging from, “We agree, but…” to, “We want nothing to do with it”. But finally a motion, after several versions had failed, was passed which stated:

“Based on the scheme proposed for Rye, Rye Town Council is withholding its ‘in principle’ support for the introduction of civil parking enforcement (CPE) and calls on East Sussex County Council to engage with Rye Town Council in order to develop a parking enforcement strategy that addresses both the concerns of local stakeholders and the unique needs of the town.”

Sadly Rye News has to report that there was some scepticism about the degree of attention that ESCC would pay to this and that, despite the leader of East Sussex County Council, Councillor Keith Glazier, being also Rye’s elected councillor, the county council would be likely to try to ignore it.

Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy , Rye News library , Gerard Reilly .

11 COMMENTS

  1. What the Rye Council being ignored ? I don’t believe it. One would question the councils actual role if they are simply going to be ignored.

  2. The answer is simple. Only disabled badge holders and delivery vehicles allowed in the high Street and access to residential parking off the high street. Others can walk from the car parks at the bottom of the hill.
    What’s the problem. The rest of the can use their legs . Anyone who lives in Rye should walk, anyone out of town can pay like we do in their towns. Simple.

    [Note. This comment has been slightly edited to meet our guidelines]

    • Zeus – not everyone who are not registered disabled can walk up hills easily. If you think that the answer to this one is simple, then you just don’t understand the question.

      Personally I favour disk parking with an annual charge for a disk (which carries a clock) – visitors could buy day or weekly disks, locals longer periods. Disks sold through local shops, which brings trade through the door plus a commission. Parking in different areas of the town would have differing periods of time – the High Street could be 30 minute max stay, no return for 2 hours, say – whilst areas in lesser demand could allow 2 hours parking. No expensive infrastructure to pay for (or tolerate) – just the disks – but you would need to police it adequately with a couple of wardens. Simple cheap and would restore some sanity.

  3. Why can we not have two parking wardens..It worked very well before Robin retired. Even part time would be a derrent..fines issued could more than pay wages..

      • As mentioned in the article, this had been proposed by the town council, in conjunction with Battle. The police, however, who had the final say, rejected the scheme, which appeared, otherwise, to be perfectly workable.

  4. About the only thing that everyone seems to agree on is that the current Rye parking situation is a complete shambles. A solution having at long last been proposed, our council now says ‘don’t like it’. Not what they do want, simply ‘don’t like it’. (Can’t think what it reminds me of..). A workable scheme is needed, sooner rather than later. Current arrangements do not work simply because they are unenforced and thus widely ignored. Enforcement costs money and, by law, parking schemes must be self-financing – ergo parking charges must be madeto those wishing to park in the town centre. The inconvenience of a few ticket machines seems minor compared to vehicles blocking roads, pavements and loading bays and the current chaos driving visitors elsewhere…

  5. I would have thought the original proposal could be modified and a compromise solution found. Gibbets Marsh car park requires further attention and be properly signposted in and outside. There does not appear to be any clear thinking by any of the Councils to find a workable solution but a solution must be found to avoid further parking chaos in the town.

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