CPE – how it will work


The introduction of CPE (Civil Parking Enforcement – the replacement of police by parking wardens to control and enforce parking regulations) has for some time been regarded by many as the answer to the town’s traffic problems.

Unfortunately this is not the case – although it will certainly help with some of the problems, mainly preventing obstruction by inappropriately parked vehicles and enabling permanent access to some of our narrow medieval streets.

However it has not been possible to combine this with a scheme to include traffic flow generally, including limitations on access to certain types of vehicles, speed restrictions, use and availability of car parks and extension of existing residents’ parking.

CPE, therefore, will initially apply only to on-street parking arrangements that are currently in use within the area shown on the map. So, no parking on double yellow lines or in residents-only areas, no all-day parking in areas restricted to one or two hours and no ignoring loading bay restrictions. And that is it.

There is a significant cost to this (the provision of wardens plus the administration of both them and the penalty fine process) and this will be covered by a pay and display system when parking within the defined area with meters being situated at various points in the High Street and elsewhere.

In a one-day exhibition that East Sussex County Council put on in Rye it became apparent that as CPE was to run throughout Rother and Wealden districts, it was being introduced on a “one size fits all” basis and no allowance was being made to accommodate the unique features of Rye. An example of this was the style of parking meter proposed – a large machine complete with solar panels to provide its power and far too large to fit easily on the town’s pavements. Although Rye County Councillor Keith Glazier has advised the Town Council that something smaller could be used, a reply from the County Council department tasked with implementing CPE, to questions asked by Deputy Mayor Cllr Rebekah Gilbert seems to contradict this.

At a recent town council meeting concerns were expressed that the cars displaced from their current illegal parking spots together with those who owners would be unable or unwilling to return every few hours to move them to another part of town, would find spaces in non-controlled areas and thereby simply move the problem further out rather than cure it. At the same meeting Cllr Glazier pointed out, in response, that the County Council was supplying what was asked for and that was that. He did, however, add that there would be a review of how the system was working at the end of a year. There was no promise though that a review would necessarily instigate any changes.

Part of the answer would be to encourage greater use of the car parks (which do not come under CPE) and in particular, the much-underused Gibbet Marsh. Rother District Council seems to have taken this, at least partly, on board by declining the suggestion in the Neighbourhood Plan to reclassify the overspill area as green space but to keep it as car park. The full resolution can be seen in RDC Cabinet minutes on pages 5 and 6.

The moral of this story would seem to be ‘Be careful what you wish for, you might get it’.

Image Credits: ESCC .

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  1. To add to the remarks about Gibbet Marsh in this piece, there is a discussion between Rother Planners and the Neighbourhood Planners (RDC Cabinet minutes 21 Dec on pages 5 and 6 above) about how best to reflect in the Plan the multi amenity provided by Gibbet Marsh: car parking; green space/footways, sewerage pumping and recycling point. What has been agreed is that the development boundary should be adjusted to include car parking (around 280 spaces on tarmac and grass) and other facilities on the site. This is in the Plan. It should be stressed that following the objections at the time of the 2018 Town Meeting, no allocation of Gibbet Marsh is made for further development. The present discussion is focused on how best to incorporate the green space with the other amenities. It is intended that this will be resolved at the end of the present consultation in mid January.

    To follow this article, it is worth reminding that the Plan reflects the need for parking enforcement and sets out a series of measures to help with traffic issues. These are extracted again for ease of reference.

    1. The Neighbourhood Planners (NPs) have drawn the attention of the ESCC
    Team to the policy and aspirations on traffic issues in the Rye NP
    Submission currently publicised for public representation under Regulation 16
    of the Neighbourhood Planning Act. The comments of the Rye Business
    Forum have been noted and provide little which conflicts with the Rye NP.
    2. Although CPE is a legal process which ESCC regards as constrained by their
    remit, the likely impacts point to the need for a holistic review of traffic issues
    rather than a focus on just CPE. Because of the challenges of achieving CPE,
    by 2020, related work would have to be concurrent and dovetailed with it.
    3. Most who have examined the issues see multiple groups in Rye with parking
    interests: the visitors; Citadel residents; other residents; traders and business
    people. This makes for a complex situation not only in the confined space of
    the centre of Rye, but also in unrestricted outer streets, to where vehicles are
    displaced. For those who know Rye, any measure applied to one place affects
    at least one other (the “displacement of vehicles concept”).
    4. The Rye NP supports the need for enforcement but notes that CPE would
    impact widely on most streets within 10 minutes walk of the Centre. For
    instance there are non residents or visitors parking now in Kings Ave, Military
    Rd and in the West Rye to avoid Rye Centre restrictions. Any arrival of the
    Fast Rail link would increase demand around the Station.
    5. It is probable that CPE would aggravate displacement. For this reason and
    given the inter-related relationships of the various parking sites – particularly
    those at the various gateways to Rye – any review should be looking at all
    parking (around 900 spaces) including the Rother (520) and other privately
    owned sites.
    6. There is a fresh call for more parking. Those working on the Rye NP
    considered the need for additional parking but there was no consensus on
    any obvious proposal, particularly as Gibbet Marsh (280 places), apart from
    big Rye events, is often under used. On other sites, as examples, some were
    against the use of the Salts. Camberfields remains a possibility, but access is
    difficult and ownership recently moved from Rother to private. It is also very
    wet after rainfall. The NP considered two tier options on one or two existing
    sites (suitably screened) on the North side of the Centre, but this would
    require significant private investment. Some Councillors are reconsidering
    identified development sites such as the Lower School Site but this is now in
    private hands and alternative proposals are coming forward. In addition any
    loss of housing or mixed development sites identified in the Rye NP would
    reduce our ability to achieve the set targets. Such reduction would eat into the
    Rye NP’s “over-planning” on the basis that not all sites may come forward in
    the period.
    7. Park and ride is an aspiration in the NP (using a site in Rye Harbour or Gibbet
    Marsh) but is opposed by some.
    8. Following the experience with the loading bay at the George, there is a
    probably a need for more loading bays in the High St (one additional east and
    one west). Presently vehicles are parking (some long term) illegally at the
    north ends of East and West Streets.
    9. Blue badge parking is an issue now and is unlikely to improve under CPE as
    blue badge drivers seem to regard all double yellows, even where road width
    is minimal, as acceptable. Bays are required.
    10.There should certainly be a universal residents parking scheme for those in
    the Centre, perhaps time limited and restricted to one badge per household to
    encourage all residents to make permanent arrangements for their long term
    parking (garages or long term passes on the paysites – many already do this).
    Hotels need to do the same. The selling of multiple street permits for
    overnight guests discriminates against those residents and others paying
    council tax and business rates.
    11.Signage around Rye is poor and unfocused. The NP aspires to a Rye wide
    review and improvements. Street furniture related to CPE must be appropriate
    for Rye. Meters the size of a human with solar panels attached are unsuitable.
    12.Some will say that all this is impractical and would take years to achieve, but if
    comprehensively staged, would enable CPE to get under way, with wider
    additional measures thoroughly considered before implementation.


  2. No mention of disabled bays for those unable to walk very far but who wish to enjoy visiting Rye.
    We enjoy driving up to the Citadel to enjoy the lovely view from outside the Hope Anchor across to Camber Castle but will be denied this pleasure as there will be no facilities for Blue badge holders to stop and park for a short while.
    The streets are very hilly and are a challenge to disabled people but their needs seem to have been overlooked with a total lack of parking for visitors who are Blue Badge holders
    Perhaps we aren’t wanted in Rye ?


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