Long road ahead yet for parking


The Rye Area Business Forum held its third meeting on Thursday July 13 courtesy of the George, discussing the hot topic of parking in the town. The event was kindly sponsored by Douglas Rowe Finance. An interested audience gathered to hear what Cllr Keith Glazier, and Assistant Director Karl Taylor from East Sussex County Council had to say on the subject.

Karl Taylor of ESCC explains the legal aspects of parking control

Mr Taylor started with an introduction of what can and cannot be done within the law, the current role of the police and what the options were with regard to civil parking enforcement (CPE). Cllr Lord Ampthill also gave an update from Rother’s perspective.

There were some lively questions to the panel, and it transpires there seems to be more legislation surrounding parking than any other subject, so whatever happens it is against a complex backdrop. It is clear once the subjects have been debated by both Rother & East Sussex Councils there will be further periods of consultation with businesses and residents.

The Fourth Rye Area Business Forum will be held towards the end of September and the organisers, who simply facilitate the forum as a learning, lobbying and networking platform, are asking you what subjects you would like to hear more about – it may be employing young people and working with apprentices, the environment, or cyber crime and social media – do get in touch at ryeareabusinessforum@gmail.com

Photo: Liz PenDennis

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  1. Appealing as it may sound, we’re not asking RDC and ESCC to fly a one-way spaceship to Mars, we’re merely wanting them to implement legislation introduced 26 years ago, which in my case is literally half a lifetime ago. Other than Wealden, Rother are the only authority in the entire South East to not have decriminalised parking. The vast majority of councils in England have. It seems to me that our councillors wear their ‘can’t do’ attitude as a badge of honour, find problems in everything and solutions in nothing. If the solution always seems difficult to them, it begs the question of their ability and leadership. I’m not making a party political statement here, there are many Tory-led councils that are proactive and dynamic, such as Ashford BC and Kent CC.
    I think the parking situation is not only dangerous, but also very damaging to Rye. Yet another year comes and goes without any visible progress, indeed the situation continues to deteriorate. RDC, ESCC – stop being dozy, do your job, sort it out.

  2. Perhaps the Rye business forum could start by insisting that shopkeepers in Rye stop parking in limited time parking spaces and, further, stop builders and similar doing the same whilst working on their premises. Day in, day out, all the same cars in the same places. Making it easier to park for people who are actually interested to buy things from their shops might help trade. Or is that connection really too difficult to make?

  3. The process will start on Monday evening at the Services Scrutiny Committee of Rother District Council, it will take time , its a legal process that has to be agreed by all ties of local government, also a public consultation has to take place and finally if successful it has to be signed off by HM Government.

  4. Once again the builder is cited as a significant contributor to the Town’s parking problem. Before we lost our traffic warden, parking was managed on a very fair and simple basis: the local police station could, at their discretion, issue a temporary permit to tradesmen based on their need for access and the warden would monitor any abuse of this and deal with it on a face to face level having built up a relationship with said tradesmen. I would challenge Peter or anyone else to carry out some of the major building projects within the town without some sort of arrangement in place. The current problem is that all legitimate parking spaces are often taken up, long term, by residential and business parking thus catastrophically reducing the number of spaces available for visitors, whether they be tradesmen, tourists or shoppers. Delivery vehicle drivers have little choice but to create obstructions in order to carry out their jobs for the same reasons. As to the well intentioned loading bay in the High Street – that has rapidly descended into farce. I have said it before and I will say it again, local residents, shopkeepers, tradesmen, councillors, workers, hoteliers etc. must take some responsibility for their own actions rather than turning a blind eye to their own misuse before condemning that of others. I could take you round the town centre on any weekday and point out several regular offenders. There are many solutions to this problem which could be explored while taking into account the legal position without having to wait. And, yes, before you ask, I am a local builder !

  5. Speaking as a shopkeeper, myself and my staff find it increasingly difficult to park. The cattle market / rope walk car park is full by 8am, as is the railway carpark. The council run carparks are very expensive and have few spaces. I and others have noticed that parking anywhere in Rye over the last year has gotten difficult. Could this have anything to do with the new housing estate on Udimore road? More houses = more people. More people = more cars. The town hasn’t the infrastructure for the amount of people or cars.


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