Parking amnesty for now

22
3425
Signs on the corner of Market Street and Church Square

The introduction of parking restrictions along the High Street and other roads in the centre of Rye has led to a number of knock-on effects.

While Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) came into operation on Tuesday September 29, Rye News has been led to believe that there will be a grace period and that fines will not be issued until Monday, October 12 onwards. In the meantime, cars parked without paying are being issued with warning notices (see picture below).

Warning notice on High Street

With the introduction of CPE, miraculously a number of Rye’s streets became clear of parked cars and freed up parking spaces. East Street, Landgate, Tower Street, Cyprus Place and Market Road were all eerily quiet during the day. (See photos in the gallery below).

We are hearing reports that all is not good for residents on Military Road and Love Lane. Residents on both have said they have seen an increased number of cars parked along their roads and a number of people have called for a residents parking scheme like those in operation on Watchbell Street and Bridge Place.

In other areas, such as Rock Channel, signs have appeared warning motorists not to park (see photo below) and we have heard of handwritten signs being placed on parked cars, in one case we believe that lipstick was used on the window of a parked car to get their message across.

Ad hoc parking notices have appeared

The resident’s parking permit zones seem to be settling down, but Rye News has heard that some residents within the citadel zone, centred on Watchbell Street, have been refused a resident’s parking permit. East Sussex County Council (ESCC), the authority overseeing the new parking regime, have said they are limiting the number of permits in this zone to 50 and introducing a waiting list.

A further concern has been the dangerous placing of some of the new signs. Rye News has been informed of one incident where a resident walked into a new sign that jutted out into the pavement at head height and needed stitches in her head as a result. It is our understanding that this, along with other snagging and improvement issues, have been compiled by the Conservation Society and shared with the Town Clerk, who is leading on the liaison with ESCC.

While it’s still early days, the new scheme does seem to be doing what it set out to do by freeing up parking spaces to allow people to visit Rye and park close to the High Street for a short period of time. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest there has been a welcome reduction in anti-social and illegal parking with fewer cars blocking pavements, especially on West Street, and fewer cars parking illegally on double yellow lines in and around Church Square.

ESCC has said it will be reviewing the parking scheme after it has been operational for a while. The details and timing of the review have yet to be announced but if readers have comments, issues, and suggestions (within reason) Rye News is the place to air them.

Image Credits: Kevin McCarthy .

22 COMMENTS

  1. Residents parking permits in Military Road and Love Lane? The easiest way to alleviate parking in those two areas is to provide folks living in the town the with residents parking permits. It’s not rocket science!.

    • No, it’s not, Mary, but East Sussex County Council chose to ignore that issue, as they ignored all others brought to their attention. The problem with parking on Military Road, Love Lane etc. was entirely predictable, and indeed was predicted by many. As I understand it, ESCC insisted that their only concern was the roads immediately in and around the centre of the town, and declined even to consider roads on the outskirts, thereby proving that the concept of “joined-up government” has not arrived in Lewes. It’s the urban planning equivalent of introducing a new species into an ecosystem without conducting an impact assessment to see what effect it will have on the existing inhabitants, and every bit as dumb.
      In fact it’s evident that the Council had minimal understanding of the town and its roads, and made no, or very little, effort to improve their knowledge. How else to explain the offer on their website of a “Business Permit” (£220 p.a.), which you can only obtain if your business address is in a residential area (Controlled Zone A) where there are no businesses? With that level of attention to detail it’s hardly surprising that we now have a system which has benefited some, and upset a whole lot more.

  2. As a regular visitor to Rye it was a real pleasure to be able to park easily in the town last Saturday -and shop for an hour for only 40p (once I had mastered the ticket machine)!

  3. As residents of Love Lane we are sorry to see that parking across a garage entrance seems to now be seen as acceptable, when it didn’t used to happen before.

  4. Must congratulate you on your gallery of images of “post-apocalyptic Rye” – hey, let’s just hope it never happens…! I seem to recall that one of the ideas of CPE was that, once the fiendish residents had been banished from the town, their places would be filled by eager shoppers thronging to the centre. The dozens of empty parking spaces in your photos don’t exactly suggest thriving commerce: looks more like a wet Monday morning in Lydd.

    • Totally agree Tim. I held back from commenting in last week’s publication when you were vilified for not having the foresight to anticipate parking charges being introduced outside your establishment 20 yrs after you moved here (original crazy comment made from ‘nearly from Rye’)!

    • I would suggest that the problem there is that Rye no longer offers many shops useful to locals. In the High Street there are Adams, Boots and Nationwide yes, but the remaining banks and “useful shops” such as Woolworths, ordinary food shops (as opposed to upmarket delis) and simple things like shoe shops and the like have long since gone. Sometimes I feel I live in Trinket Town – which has now become a tourist orientated theme park!

  5. How sad and infuriating it is to see the newly installed parking payment machines on the High Street with solar or satellite panels on them ( if that’s what they are ? ), and the hideously large out-of-place street signs in a historic setting. Absolutely no thought or consideration has been given to the environment. It’s street pollution created by people who have absolutely no understanding or respect for our history. So many people are envious of those who are fortunate enough to live in Rye, they think our town is beautiful. Why are we allowing it to be ruined by careless and thoughtless council parking enforcement departments ? It’s really not that hard to design signage that could compliment a small town and blend in with the surroundings.

    • Its frustrates me when I hear people moaning about how untidy the metres and signs look… do these people prefer the towns streets nose to tail with parked vehicles…many illegally parked? Lots of historic towns have signs and parking machines on the streets…..get over it people.

      • Your frustration is wasted. The point I am making is the CONTROLLED ZONE, NO ENTRY, PEDESTRIAN ZONE and other signage is large enough and more appropriate for Oxford Street, London. The historic town centre of Rye is beautiful. Why does there have to be large loud signage that destroys and blights the aesthetic of the area ? Of course there needs to be signage, but it is possible to create such things that compliment, are size appropriate, and blend in with a historic environment. It has been implemented in other areas and countries.
        Regards parking meters, I question if such things are even needed anymore ? People have to pay to drive through all of Central London. They don’t pay at a meter. They pay by phone or online. There’s no reason why that cannot be introduced for all parking. And if you believe many people are parked nose-to-tail illegally, then clearly it’s irrelevant what large/loud signs and parking meters are available, because those people are ignoring them completely which makes signage/meters redundant. Surely the answer to all of this is an old fashioned human parking warden patrolling the high street.

        • There was one, back in the early noughties, a very decent chap called Robin, who was the human face of traffic-wardening, even though he gave me lots of tickets! His time was divided between Rye and Battle. When he retired he was not replaced. I think it was decided that the position was not cost-effective, although you would think that you wouldn’t have to issue too many fines to more than cover a fair daily wage.

        • Like Timothy has said, there was an “old fashioned” parking warden in Rye. He was he was fair and friendly, but obviously not economically viable any more in Rye.
          Going back to my original point, I certainly do not think my frustration is wasted.
          Already its quite obvious that the new signs and metres are not “irrelevant” as I have been seeing more free spaces in this town in the last week or so then I have seen in the last 5 years!
          Councils have generic signs that they use, would you rather we wasted more time working nice Olde Worlde signs just so the towns streets looked pretty still?
          Action was needed for so long, thankfully now at last action has happened.

      • So, if I’m following Mr. Smith’s logic: if lots of other towns have defaced their centres with ugly street furniture, it’s only natural for us to follow their example.

        • Exactly. Surely it’s a matter of local pride that we want Rye to look as authentic, quaint and charming as possible. Visitors come here to admire what we have, the fabulous mix of higgledy-piggledy periods or architecture and churches all side-by-side with its cobbled streets. Why on earth would anyone want to see that defaced by large modern signage and parking meters ?

        • What about the cars abandoned on the streets on yellow lines and left on the high street for weeks?? Is that attractive to you?

  6. I refer to Timothy Roche’s comments of the 9th October – in the first paragraph he says “as they (East Sussex County Council) chose to ignore that issue (Love Lane resident parking permits) AS THEY IGNORED ALL OTHERS BROUGHT TO THEIR ATTENTION.

    I would dispute that. When I attended a meeting at the Community Hall some three years ago re parking, I pointed out that being disabled I was unable to get to the High Street because of the parking and there were no disabled spaces anywhere. I am delighted to see designated Disabled parking spaces now as well as more general parking available. The Crime Commissioner, poor at that meeting, has been listening since.

  7. With reference to the incident with the Zone sign, it was at RIGHT ANGLES to the wall at head height when it came into contact with my head! It was repositioned against the wall when I brought it to the attention of the Town Hall.

  8. So Rye is not on trip advisor for places to visit anymore. WHAT NONESENCE, With 11 carparks in the town, there is plenty of places for visitors and locals to park,without cluttering up the Citadel 24/7,and denying others the chance to do their daily shop, as Nick forman has stated,the market carpark is the cheapest in Rye to get a permit to park 24/12, and its time people that have abused the parking for years realised the freebies are at long last over, and its a level playing field for all.

  9. I have lived in Rye Foreign since 1957 and for several years have found myself driving round and round the town in search of a parking space in order to go to the bank and library and shopping etc. I usually ended up in the Cattle Market Car Park or going home. For someone who is elderly but not eligible for a blue badge I found it quite an effort getting up to the town.. So what a joy it was to go to Rye on Saturday morning and find not one but loads of spaces. There is a down side to my visit. The Nationwide is closed on a Saturday. Never mind I can always go again now I can park !

  10. Like Timothy has said, there was an “old fashioned” parking warden in Rye. He was he was fair and friendly, but obviously not economically viable any more in Rye.
    Going back to my original point, I certainly do not think my frustration is wasted.
    Already its quite obvious that the new signs and metres are not “irrelevant” as I have been seeing more free spaces in this town in the last week or so then I have seen in the last 5 years!
    Councils have generic signs that they use, would you rather we wasted more time working nice Olde Worlde signs just so the towns streets looked pretty still?
    Action was needed for so long, thankfully now at last action has happened.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here