Christmas is coming and the lights are going up in Rye High Street – and for a few days there will be free parking – courtesy of Rother District Council (RDC) and its car parks.
And some time in the new year (perhaps) Rye will have traffic wardens and parking ticket machines, but mainly in the centre of town, courtesy of East Sussex County Council (ESCC).
And whether this will be enforced enough to affect people’s bad parking behaviour remains to be seen.
Rye Town Council (RTC) has somersaulted on the issue, first welcoming it and then (after a lot of campaigning by local businesses) opposing it.
But local councillor and ESCC leader Keith Glazier has made it clear that civil parking enforcement (CPE), which exists nearly everywhere else in the country, will be coming here.
But, and this may or may not be a big BUT, it will be subject to review once it is introduced.
This, however, does not tackle the problem that Rye is a historic town not designed for cars, and many properties, both homes and businesses, do not have any parking spaces or the possibility of providing any.
Helpfully as well car manufacturers seem to be producing cars that are getting bigger and bigger, neither fitting into many existing garages, nor fitting into Rye’s narrow streets even when parking is restricted to one side of the street.
So CPE is not a magic wand which is going to solve all our problems and RTC, RDC and ESCC will have to look at longer term plans and possible solutions.
And there will still continue to be thoughtless and stupid parkers. But at least you have some free parking up to Christmas.
In the long run though the sea will rise, and Rye will resort to being an island again – and it may be quite fun getting a ferry from the bottom of Rye Hill or Udimore Road, and having all our deliveries coming by boat.
Perhaps the D-Day landing craft will have a new lease of life – or most cars owned locally will have to be amphibious.
Now there’s a thought for the Christmas present for the partner who has everything – but wants more.
Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .