Rye Area Business Forum has given a massive thumbs down to County Council proposals for Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) in Rye, and following the meeting on December 3, a three-page letter went to County Hall on Tuesday, December 4, (with copies to all local councillors); and the Town Council will also discuss CPE at next Monday’s meeting (December 10).
East Sussex County Council (ESCC) had exhibited its CPE plans in Rye’s Town Hall last weekend and this has raised many causes for concern.
Chairman of the forum Rebekah Gilbert drafted the letter on behalf of Rye area businesses, whose comments that evening included that “what is currently proposed is not fit for purpose, and is considered by many as something that will break our town if implemented”.
CPE is being introduced as the police have made it clear that they are no longer able to deal with parking issues, but there has been little involvement with the town by either the county or district councils on developing the proposals, and what is proposed is essentially existing parking restrictions enforced in future by parking meters and wardens.
The businesses felt the County Council (ESCC) and the District Council (RDC) were trying to find a solution without understanding “the root cause of the problem, namely lack of parking in the town” and said “the bigger picture needs to be addressed first”.
“Fundamentally,” say the businesses, “consideration must be prioritised to look for additional parking spaces around Rye.” Possibilities, they suggest, include a “park and ride” from the Camber direction, parts of the Salts, or the “lower school site” off Ferry Road alongside the railway line.
However they also draw attention to the under-use of the RDC-run Gibbets Marsh car park. Other issues concerning the businesses as well as residents were the size of parking meters on Rye’s narrow pavements in a historic conservation area and the probable need for more residents’ permits.
The businesses expressed concern that the parking meters would simply displace parking issues to areas near to, but outside, the town centre (such as Military Road, pictured above) and said “displacement is not factored into this proposal, which we feel is a grave error”.
The proposals were perceived to be “purely revenue related” by the businesses, and the businesses said they wanted to invite district and county councillors and officers, along with local MP the Rt Hon Amber Rudd, to a meeting in Rye in mid/late January to discuss the issues.
Rye Town Council will be discussing the issue on Monday December 10 and the meeting (open to the public) starts at 6:30pm.
Image Credits: Rye News library.