CPE to end one hour free parking

Rye was well represented at the council meeting in Lewes but free parking is going.

Wednesday, January 15 was the day of reckoning in terms of the existing parking arrangements, which allow for one hour free parking within designated town centre areas. East Sussex County Council had recommended scrapping the current arrangement when the new civil parking enforcement (CPE) is implemented this year which was debated during today’s meeting.

Having allowed plenty of time to get from Rye to Lewes (just in case we met with heavy traffic or forced delays) the only issue, ironically, having arrived in the town centre was finding somewhere to park, it made parking in Rye look like a walk in the park!

Inside the meeting room at the council offices in Lewes.

I attended in the public gallery on behalf of Rye News with local business woman Jane Brook who owns Space coworking. Councillor Keith Glazier was also in attendance but had to leave the meeting early due to a prior engagement whilst David Nixon spoke on behalf of Rye Chamber of Commerce, Sandra Nixon spoke on behalf of Rye residents, Chris Hoggart spoke on behalf of Rye Town Council and Jonathan Dellar and David Wilson both spoke on behalf of Rye traders and residents. Our thanks go to all the speakers who made the effort to be there today and to represent their town.

The council’s offices in central Lewes where many important decisions are made.

Each speaker was given a strict three minute slot in which to make their voices heard and all speakers on behalf of residents and businesses in Rye put forward very credible arguments to retain the existing one hour free parking arrangements however the vote went against them and when CPE is introduced in Rye, free one hour parking will be scrapped.

The style of parking meters to be introduced is still not clear, similarly the proposed locations of the new meters is still under discussion and awaiting clarification. What is clear is that the current parking nightmare must be addressed as it is only going to get worse if nothing is done about it. Today’s decision was the first stage in the process, nobody likes change but change is inevitable. Enjoy the luxury of free parking whilst you can, it wont be for much longer.

Image Credits: Nick Forman .


  1. This is bad news for the town. People come into Rye to collect prescriptions and hopefully spend money in other shops while they are here. Unless things have changed since I was last there Petworth in West Sussex has free parking for one hour and the ticket machine allows you to pay for any additional parking time you may need. Surely this would make more sense than abolishing free parking completely.

  2. As a regular visitor to Rye I have to say that I have seen a lot of appalling, thoughtless, arrogant parking on Rye High St., when no emergency vehicle could have got through. If a driver can not find a suitable parking space on Rye High St., then s/he must park in a proper car park, PAY if necessary, and WALK. ( can they really not afford to pay for parking?Then they shouldn’t be running a car.) This would also help those driving the truly disabled to park where they need to. Too many drivers seem to think they are entitled to a parking space on the High St. Every one of them is “special.” Er, no. Those who actually live on or near the High Street are the ones who should be able to park there.

  3. Park and Ride has already been mooted for the town, but I am unaware of the extent to which it has been seriously considered. I have difficulty in understanding how it could work for a small town such as Rye. Apart from the costs of setting it up and the subsequent operating costs, the location must surely be the biggest challenge. Surely it would need to operate from two locations; one for traffic from the Peasmarsh and Romney Marsh directions and one for those coming from the Winchelsea and Cadborough directions? Otherwise the volumes of traffic crossing or going round the town would add to existing problems.

    I do not see that such a scheme would be viable, even if we discount the initial setting up costs. However, if serious thought has been given to any Park and Ride scheme for the town that overcomes all obstacles then I would be interested.

  4. What a pity our council representative keith Glazier had to leave this important meeting that affects so many in this town before the end, it would be interesting to hear Glaziers views on allowing 1 hour free parking,which so many people wished for in this town, he was elected to represent us but by conviently leaving early, obviously wasn’t his main priority on the agenda for that evening.


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