Parking is such street sorrow

Rother District Council is looking at parking problems - and not just those giving their contractors a headache in the Citadel

Elsewhere in this issue we comment on the current problems in Lion Street caused by illegal parking, and the measure being considered by Rye Town Council to prevent it.

However it is absolutely no good looking at one street on its own, all that will happen is that the problem will be transferred elsewhere. Can’t park in Lion Street? Then how about The Mint, or Market Road or somewhere else equally restricted on space? As we have pointed out in this paper before, the town has to be looked at as a whole when dealing with traffic management – and that includes parking, both long and short term, commercial and private deliveries, local traffic movements and through traffic.

More selfish parking holds up the bus
More selfish parking holds up the bus

Suggestions made in the past, both by us and our readers, have included shared space, pedestrianisation, wardens, congestion charging, residents’ parking, park and ride, etc. Most of these have been tried elsewhere and can be effective, but once again, the whole town has to be considered. For example, if vehicles can no longer park in the Citadel area or drive through the High Street, are we going to see complete chaos in Cinque Ports Street, Station approach and Rope Walk with the problem simply transferring itself from one area to another?

If parking is to be banned from some areas then convenient, accessible and cheap parking must be provided elsewhere. By the same token, if through traffic is to be deterred, then other suitable routes must be designated.

No one is saying that this is an easy problem to solve, but other towns have done it and there is no reason why Rye should not be able to. All it requires is the will to get on and produce a coherent and workable plan and then implement it.

Delivery vans can be the worst offenders
Delivery vans can be the worst offenders

One of the reasons we have a Town Council is to look at these problems and find solutions. In this respect our current councillors are proving to be an abject failure. All we have seen so far is one councillor being asked to investigate the possibility of cameras in one street. This investigation – a job that one might have thought would occupy a maximum of two to three days – has now been going on for weeks and weeks with no sign, unless something is announced at Monday’s council meeting, of any result. And even if they are installed, what use are they without enforcement?

The Rye Neighbourhood Plan mentions the need for a traffic plan but, so far as I can see, makes no specific recommendations. I fully accept that any plan RTC comes up with will not only have to meet the approval of the rest of the town but will need to be sanctioned by higher authority and will, almost certainly, need to be funded. But first there has to be a plan. So Councillors Boyd, Breeds, Breeds, Creaser, Fiddimore, Gilbert, Harkness, Hughes, Kirkham, Potter, Prewer, Rivett, Rogers, Stuart and Barnes, the time has come to earn your keep and actually get down and do something for those who elected them.

Photos: Rye News library


  1. The new Editor raises a number of pertinent points, and it would be good to see him in the gallery at future Council meetings, raising issues of concern in the spots allotted for public questions and hearing the arguments. Incidentally, I seem to have escaped his list – can you add ‘Stuart’ please?

  2. Perhaps if shop keepers and Citadel residents obeyed the parking restrictions and one hour limits, the rest of us might find places to park. Grand plans, cameras and hand wringing are all very well, but a drive around any weekday at 9, 10 and 11 will see the same cars in the same places day in day out.

  3. The Rye Neighbourhood Plan does indeed make a series of recommendations for traffic related measures. All issues raised by the Community have been addressed. However because most traffic issues require “partnership action” and funding from other agencies they are “aspirations” (unfunded intentions) in the Plan. As such, action to implement would need to be taken by the Council with others agencies. From our work we have been told by ES Highways that Rye is ” not a priority for any traffic improvements”.


  4. So, unelected Mr Minter, please get your facts right before spouting off yet more of your uninformed rubbish. If you want to know what is really going on regarding RTC’s efforts ease the Town’s traffic problems, turn up at one of our regular Council meetings and/or speak to one of us who are actually trying to do something rather than sniping from a safe distance.

  5. Ask the Town Council and those Councillors who last month in their wisdom voted against the decriminalisation of parking, thus ensuring there will be no Traffic Warden enforcement with legal powers for the foreseeable future.

  6. The Town Council were asked to vote ‘in principle for CEP’ with no prior consultation by Rother or any explanation of what CEP might mean in Rye.

    Fresh from the ‘Brexit means Brexit’ nonsense the idea of voting ‘in principle’ for… six dozen Parking Meters in the High Street each charging six Guineas an hour. 24/7 (to subsidise free residents’ street parking in Bexhill), or a single Traffic Warden to be shared with Bexhill and Battle, or whatever Rother might decide to foist on Rye without any further consultation because we have already voted in principle worried me. As one councillor pointed out, CPE sounds great, but once Bexhill decides what form it is going to take in Rye there will be really no coming back from it. Ever! Too often have Rother decided things without further reference to Rye.

    Remember, Rother and its agents in Rye (‘our’ District Councillors) have been aggressively against CPE for years – Lord Ampthill has addressed RTC many times over the last few years explaining how CPE is such a poor idea and how RDC is very much against it – so this seemingly Saul on the road to Damascus conversion (without any hard facts at hand) worries me! Surely it can’t be because Rother sees an easy way to stuff its coffers at the expense of Rye? Can it? If Rother were to show the people of Rye some respect it would table ideas about what it believes CPE will be and how it will affect each town within its jurisdiction. Only then I might vote in favour ‘in principle’.

    But since the Old Bill has largely abandoned Rye to its own devices I’m not sure that giving Old Bexhill a carte blanche to actually police our affairs as it likes (‘backed’ by the ‘mandate’ of an in principle vote in favour by RTC of their jurisdiction) is very sensible.

    Show me what ‘in principle’ CPE might actually mean and I might, in principle, vote in favour.

  7. Andy, most of your remarks are nonsense. You should have found out for yourself what CEP could mean. You’re a Councillor. You’re meant to talk to other Cllrs and to townsfolk.
    Ashford did CEP twenty years ago and thus Tenterden has a very civilised parking regime. Did you make any comparisons?


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