East Sussex County Council (ESCC) has asked the Department for Transport to approve the closure of Rye High Street between 10am and 4pm as a temporary measure to provide safe space for social distancing as Covid-19 restrictions continue to ease – and more shops can re-open.
And more permanent changes will follow with the preparations for the implementation of civil parking enforcement (CPE) over the summer.
This High Street closure is one of around 20 temporary measures proposed by ESCC for money allocated from the government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund.
Social distancing inside shops, and limits on the number of people in a shop at any one time, could lead to overcrowding on Rye’s narrow pavements already affected by work on The George hotel and poor parking, so what is proposed is a safety measure.
At the same time though ESCC is pressing on with plans for the introduction of CPE from October following Parliamentary approval expected in September.
And Rye Town Council has made a “last minute” appeal to ESCC for the Rye scheme to include one hour’s free parking at the start of the day, in line with Tenterden’s scheme run by Ashford Borough Council and taking into account “the added challenge of post Covid-19 economic recovery to factor in”.
Work on installing pay and display machines and installing or refreshing parking lines and signs will require residents and traders to move their vehicles for short periods, and will start imminently, says ESCC “having been delayed by the Covid-19 lockdown”.
During August ESCC will run a press and media campaign to explain to businesses and residents what will happen with the parking changes, including a two week grace period before penalties start to be imposed.
Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .