Long stay car park

Cars in snow

Rye News often features stories of bad parking in Rye and will typically show a delivery van on double yellow lines or straddling the pavement, making life difficult for road users and pedestrians. The recent snow has been useful in revealing who the real culprits are: locals who use the High Street as a long stay parking facility, when supposedly there is a one hour maximum stay. This photo was taken on Wednesday afternoon, when the last heavy snow had fallen during Tuesday morning. In my estimation, almost half the cars along the High Street had not moved in more than 24 hours.
Another day later, there are still a handful that have not moved, as the telltale snow is still on them. I have some sympathy for delivery vans or short stay visitors who park on double yellow lines – what else are they supposed to do? Local authorities and the police quite rightly get a lot of stick for not addressing the parking issues, but it is worth remembering that it is primarily the actions of selfish residents that are the root cause of the problem – shame on them!

Photo: Dominic Manning


  1. Well written; most problems for delivery drivers are either cars parking in the loading bays, or residents leaving cars parked for weeks on end. There’s even a well known offender (in Market Street) who puts out an orange cone when he briefly leaves ‘his’ space … obviously an extremely important person or maybe just a strange sense of entitlement?
    [Moderator note: This comment has been slightly edited to meet our criteria]

  2. I agree largely with the above comment. I would like to see the High Street closed to traffic and therefore available for pedestrians, for a time limited period during each day. I do not know how it is done in Hythe but visiting the town is a pleasure during the day.
    As with Rye, there are homes over the shops. Presumably some agreement has been reached whereby those residents accept the need to park elsewhere during the road closure. Very possibly it is made easy by local arrangements. What about our Town Council talking to their Town Council ?

    • I don’t know about the seaward side of Hythe High Street, but on the landward side residents have (very limited) parking at the back of their houses as there’s a lane that runs parallel to the High Street.

  3. Walking up the high street yesterday, I was amazed at the cars completely covered in snow, and had obviously been there for days, this is a complete disgrace and people who need to access shops in the high street,are denied a space, nowonder more people are deserting the high street,which is not helping our hard working traders

  4. It is all very well to criticise the “selfish residents” of Rye for parking in their own town, but where else can they go? The tiresome and dim-witted reply to this question is usually: “Why don’t you use the market car park? It’s only £1.50 per day!” For the mathematically challenged, if the car park was available every day – which it isn’t, and that’s another problem – this would equate to nearly £550 per year, all for the privilege of parking your car several hundred metres away from your house down a steep hill.
    To put this in context, Battersea, where I lived before – a place which has an infinitely greater parking problem than Rye’s – operates a permit system which cost residents about £80 a year at the time I was there. This did not guarantee residents a parking space but, if they could find one, they were entitled to use it with no time constraints. A relative in Wood Green, where parking is similarly problematic, pays less than £50 a year for an almost identical scheme. And these are London suburbs, not a small provincial town! I see no reason why a similar scheme should not be adopted in Rye at a sensible price.
    There are other possibilities: when I first came to Rye, in 2001, there was a scheme in operation – presumably long ago dropped for lack of interest – which offered residents a parking permit for, if I recall correctly, about £80 a year, but which was of zero practical value to most people, since it covered only the Gibbets Marsh and Recreation Ground car parks. This scheme could be resurrected, but made valid for all the Rye car parks, and at a reasonable rate, say £80-90 a year, not the tourist rate.
    However, for anything like this to happen, there first needs to be some recognition that the residents of the town are entitled to some consideration. I fear that Dominic’s letter reveals an attitude which is all too prevalent: there is a willingness to bend over backwards to accommodate tourists, non-residents and others whose business in the town is only fleeting, while the people who actually LIVE here are viewed as “selfish” and a nuisance. The result of this is that the issue of where residents may park has been completely ignored – in all the interminable whingeing about parking which fills these pages I have never once come across a practical suggestion to address this problem.
    Dominic says he feels some sympathy for short stay visitors who park on double yellow lines – I feel none whatsoever! Before moving to Rye I was a regular visitor to the town and always used the visitor car parks away from the centre – that’s what they are there for! I never expected, or attempted, to park in the main street, and if I had done so I would certainly not have caused an obstruction or hazard by parking on the double yellows. In my opinion these are the truly selfish drivers.
    With Civil Parking Enforcement now on the horizon it is not difficult to see what is going happen if the need for a coherent residents’ scheme continues to be ignored: the parking problem will be transferred from the High Street to Military Road, causing even more aggravation for the long-suffering residents there than they already suffer on Thursdays, when the market car park is closed, and the road becomes clogged with cars parked dangerously on both sides of the road.

  5. We lived in the cinque port town of Sandwich for ten years. Very similar to Rye in its layout but they had three large car parks and residents paid between £60-£150 per year (depending on how close the car park was to town). The cheapest we can find in Rye is Gibbets Marsh which is £321 per year (and the most expensive, Gun Garden, an eye popping £1,080 per year). Pressure should be applied to Rother to consider resident permits for their car parks (though I also think it’s the fragmented ownership of Rye’s car parks that has led to this problem and overall confusion).


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