Parking back on the agenda

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Rye Town Council will be discussing parking enforcement next Monday October 26, its Public Services Committee having been told that, effectively, the idea of having a joint traffic warden with Battle was a dead duck.

The Council is being recommended to invite the Police and Crime Commissioner to a public meeting here to discuss both police operations and parking concerns, possibly in January.

However the police are pressing Rother District Council (RDC) to introduce Civil Parking Enforcement as RDC is one of only 17 local authority areas that does not have decriminalised parking.

The Public Services minutes go on to say that “the Government may be considering forcing these 17 authorities to introduce a scheme”.

In the meantime this is clearly an issue that Rye’s Neighbourhood Plan, setting out planning policies and priorities for the town, needs to address longer term.

But, in the short term, there is an additional (and perhaps uncertain) factor to be taken into account now. That is the future of the Landgate, the medieval arch over the only entrance to Hilder’s Cliff and the High Street.

Work on the much neglected archway (externally and internally) will inevitably include external scaffolding, at some stage and for an unknown length of time, which may affect whether any, or just smaller, vehicles can go through the archway.

Longer term however decisions may need to be taken, in order to use the Landgate safely, on how much access traffic can continue to have through the arch.

In the short term, or the long term, the only other access points into the “ancient town” are the narrow (and currently one-way) Market Road, or the historic, cobbled and steep Mermaid Street – unless The Mint, or even the High Street, becomes two way. So, if any work is required on the Landgate that affects traffic, decisions will have to be taken – which can, inevitably, involve parking bans or restrictions.

And partial, or even total, restrictions at the Landgate because of building or repair work must mean exploration of various alternatives which do limit access, or parking, or both – and  major changes to how deliveries and/or collections are organised in the old parts of the town.

This is now an issue that can no longer be parked!

A Rye Town Councillor, who neither owns nor drives any vehicles