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.
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.
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