The following email was sent to Tony Nunn, one of the Rye News team, who asked Sussex Police what it could do to stop illegally parked vehicles from impeding emergency vehicles in the town:
Rye is a medieval town and is already congested. It does not always allow for modern-day requirements, such as larger and more frequent deliveries, which I can appreciate can be frustrating. If the East Sussex Fire Brigade are concerned with any safety issues, they can call us and we will respond. But we are not able to monitor people’s bad and inconsiderate parking due to overriding issues and demands on our officers.
Currently we do not have [in Rother] a decriminalised parking enforcement. In 1999, on-street parking was decriminalised, which gave local councils the power to manage, enforce and collect fines in respect of Local Parking Traffic Orders. Not all councils took up this option in the early days, but as the years have gone on more and more have done so. The Traffic Management Act 2004 is the current relevant legislation. Some councils manage the whole process themselves, as was the case with Hastings Borough Council up to last April, whereas other councils contract out the enforcement side to private companies such as NSL.
Chief Inspector Warren Franklin
District Commander for Rother
Tony Nunn comments: If an emergency service should ever need police to clear its way then it might already be too late. If the result of the delay causes loss of life or serious damage to property then much wringing of hands will follow. Meanwhile, I imagine, while illegal parking is not an issue for police in areas where parking is decriminalised, it still is in an area where it is not. But with cuts to police budgets this won’t be high on your priority list, especially as parking fines will go to central funds, not to our local force
Photo: Tony Nunn