Enjoy free parking while you can

1 hour free parking could soon be a thing of the past, effecting residents, traders and visitors to Rye

Parking in Rye is always a hot topic but unless we make our voices heard, our one hour free parking may soon become a distant memory. Why? Because East Sussex County Council is proposing that it should be scrapped.

The proposal will be discussed next Wednesday, January 15 at 10:30am at the planning meeting in the council offices on Lewes High Street. This could be the last opportunity to try and retain an element of free parking within the town. Without it, visitors may be tempted to travel to Tenterden to do their shopping where the parking system incorporates a one hour free system on the High Street. If it works in Tenterden why cant it work in Rye?

A familiar sight but for how much longer? A sign of the times which may be short lived.

All of us agree that parking needs to be rationalised locally, it’s getting out of control and before too long there may be serious implications if illegal and inconsiderate parking is allowed to continue as it is. Its an accident waiting to happen in every sense, our luck must run out at some point.

Many traders in town are already feeling the effects of the current difficult economic climate, if we lose the ability to tempt shoppers, currently with the opportunity to park free for an hour, the impact will be felt by our local shops and businesses. Of course, visitors will always come to Rye, with so many fascinating attractions available the tourist trade will continue infinitum but visitors will become frustrated if the opportunity to park for free is lost.

To add gravitas to the occasion and to get our voices heard it would be such a boost if local residents and business people could find time in their busy schedules to support their town and join in at the public gallery. This is an important meeting, as the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. This affects residents and businesses alike and it is vital that Rye is represented and to make a stand. Get involved and if anyone needs a lift to Lewes, contact Jane Brook by email at jane@spacecoworking.co.uk and she will coordinate transport.

Image Credits: Nick Forman .


  1. I am unsure how the logistics would work to enable shoppers to park free for one hour if there are parking meters there? Also if the one hour parking is the same as the one hour parking is at present there will be certain cars, some of them local shopkeepers’ cars, that will probably still park there all day.

  2. The one-hour rule is flagrantly disregarded by many, many, many drivers in Rye, probably the same ones who park at will (and at length) on double-yellow lines. One hour of free parking is a very good thing, but the town needs traffic wardens enforcing it consistently.

  3. As CPE means enforcement by traffic wardens it would seem that the one hour of free parking is possible. It might just be that ESCC (Tenterden is in Kent and so comes under KCC) thinks that this is too much work, requiring more wardens than they are prepared to pay for,

  4. In some other towns this is addressed by issuing a ticket for the free period of parking This then shows the arrival time of the vehicle. When buying a ticket for a longer stay, the free period is obviously added to the overall length of stay. A one (free) ticket per vehicle per day rule would also apply!

  5. A few years ago Rye town council were offered park and ride,and turned it down.and once these new parking restrictions come into force,it will be pandemonium in this town,with many motorists and visitors giving up trying to park,and moving on to other towns, will the council ever learn, that park and ride is the only way forward for Rye in the 21st century.

  6. The conversation about parking, free high street has been going on in this town before I arrived here about 10 years ago and then joined the Rye Town Council. It was always, “no one will agree and it won’t happen.” I won’t even go into the idea of a by-pass which also has been around forever without any enthusiasm.

    However, I have to agree with the person (and Margaret Sandra’s comment, apart from having talked to a few observant people in the town) who suggests it is mostly business people who park their car on the high street, often all day.

    Why is it possible to close the High Street on a late night day, Christmas day, Jazz week end and not try it just once a week on a Saturday or Sunday to close between East and West street at a suitable time,
    perhaps 11-4, give a chance to any deliveries that have to be made. After a month it can be re-evaluated and a decision made. Other towns are doing it and their shops are thriving, Rye, get behind a change.


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