Speak up on parking now

Gibbet Marsh car park

This weekend, today Friday, November 30 and tomorrow Saturday, December 1, there is an exhibition at Rye Town Hall in Market Street between 9am and 12 noon and 2pm and 8pm about future parking arrangements in Rye.

And you need to pay attention because THEY are coming! WHO? you may well ask. It’s the dreaded traffic wardens, as employed by East Sussex County Council (ESCC).

And, after consulting Rother District Council (RDC) , ESCC are proposing pretty much what looks like the status quo – today’s restrictions with the addition of wardens and meters!!

But I should declare an interest here. I do not drive. I do not have a car, but I do have a garage – which a neighbour uses.

However I do have personal knowledge of parking in Rye as my “ex” lived first in Wish Ward (no garage, or driveway) and then in a flat in Watchbell Street (again no garage, or driveway).

As far as Wish Ward was concerned she parked where she could around town, but frequently ended up in Mason Road (on the Tilling side of the Gibbet Marsh car park).

In Watchbell Street she had a permit, but no guaranteed space – and much depended on how busy the Hope Anchor Hotel was that night. And often she could not park near her home.

I however have both a garage (used by a neighbour’s “other car”) and a space in front of my house (and visitor spaces on the other side of the road) up in Valley Park.

But, over the years, an increasing variety of vehicles (including commercial ones) have appeared outside my house which seem to have nothing to do with me or my immediate neighbours.

I also have an interest, as an elderly pedestrian with a shopping trolley, as pavements can be blocked by lorries, vans and cars apparently delivering to nearby premises.

And pavements can also become dangerous when cars parked on corners force larger vehicles on to the pavement in order to get through. The corners of East Street and Market Street, and Market Road and the High Street, are particular examples of this.

However, given the cost of setting up this scheme I think it unlikely ESCC will want to change it after it has been introduced, so you need to speak up NOW

Our previous story attracted lots of comments, and one in particular (from Tim Roche) deserves thinking about. In London where I lived for many years residents could buy parking permits which enabled them to park anywhere in the borough not covered by restrictions or meters. Perhaps ESCC need to be encouraged to do that, rather than (in cahoots with RDC) just sticking to the status quo.

If visitors can park where they like (in the absence of restrictions or meters) they will do so in order to avoid paying in the car parks, but it means residents then have difficulty in finding anywhere they can park.

Our previous story of Nov 15 attracted a lot of comments, including the lengthy one from Tim Roche.

Please read them and make sure ESCC hears your views by the consultation deadline of January 14.

And, yes, there will be a cost if residents with cars (and no garage or driveway) want have to have a permit, but the alternative is the idiot situation where Gibbet Marsh car park is virtually empty, but there seems nowhere to park in residential streets because of visitors’ cars.

Image Credits: Rye News library .


    • As I understand it, council-run parking schemes have to be self-financing, but I can’t imagine that many people would want to see parking meters lined up along the High Street, or anywhere else in the town, for that matter.
      Even pay-and-display machines will be an unwelcome and unsightly intrusion on Rye’s narrow streets and pavements, although it is hard to see how that particular evil will be avoided under CPE, unless parking tickets can be purchased, for example, in some of the local shops.

  1. We lived in East Street for 3 years. We now live in Sandwich (for 18 months). The parking is working well here. Again, like Rye, there are no garages or driveways but DCC operates a permit system. We pay £90 p.a for a permit to park on designated roads and in any of the 3 large car parks. We can purchase books of 10 daily passes for visitors for £20. Cars without permits can park in bays for 1 hour but we have regular traffic wardens which gives a good turnover of spaces. In 18 months we’ve not heard of or seen any bad parking. We would have liked this system when we lived in Rye.

  2. I completely agree with Kathryn. We lived in Sandwich for 10 years prior to moving to Rye and you never had the type of illegal parking you experience in Rye on a daily basis. The large, well managed, cheap carparks helped and they were all under the single ownership of Dover District Council. Rye’s carparks are confusing, badly sign posted and under fragmented ownership which means it’s hard to create a town-wide parking strategy. It is also telling that today’s CPE consultation at the Town Hall does not include any mention of the carparks in Rye. When I asked ‘why not?’ I was told that Rother hadn’t asked ESCC to include them – so we are still a long way off from having a town-wide parking strategy/solution even when CPE is introduced.

  3. I went to the exhibition this morning in the Town Hall having met an exceedingly irate friend who had just left. Once there I understood his irritation. East Sussex County Council had in place one of the proposed traffic metres and I likened them to contemporary Daleks. Black monstrosities with solar panel hats sticking up from the head (top). So we have no sun for months on end… then what happens? perhaps they will be unusable – and will have to be replaced by ‘mains’ operated ones. As to the parking ideas, perhaps I shouldn’t comment but leave it to others!

  4. I too visited the presentation and agree whole heartily with the above comment. The proposed meters are monstrosities. And to boot you will have to go through the palaver of entering your whole registration number before they issue a permit. Totally unnecessary if the few spaces available are being patrolled anyway.
    I noted also that South Undercliff is outwith ‘the plan’. This was confirmed when I asked if ESCC would be monitoring South Undercliff and Ferry Road. The answer was no, as ESCC have had no reports of traffic infringement in either of these roads??? Given that traffic (including the odd emergency vehicle) tails back in the summer way down New Road due to illicitly parked vehicles on South Undercliff then one wonders what info was passed to them? I am sure I have read about the traffic chaos that has been regularly reported in several publications.
    It seems that the proposed parking regime will only concentrate on revenue producing areas. Fair enough it has to pay for itself but in effect it is half a plan only.

  5. I couldn’t agree more with most of the points above especially Kathryn and Kevin as well as: why are the car parks not included in the whole parking strategy, especially Gibbet Marsh car park which needs better signage for directions and needs to be cheaper and as suggested, locals should be able to use it with parking permits.

    In terms of meters, the narrow pavements on the High Street are difficult enough for buggies and wheelchairs, also in bad repair so another obstruction, meters, is not a solution, nor putting them on the road.

    While understanding that goods have to be delivered, Town Council provided 2 unloading spaces outside the George which unfortunately are used permanently by anyone for hours duration plus egotistic people park on the yellow line behind them totally blocking that corner, (Lyon Street) apart from all many parking anywhere on yellow lines and corners. The other day there were 2 cars on the left in Market Street outside the Rye Club and a big 4×4 was parked on the right hand side so no-one could get through, leaving a trail of cars right into the High Street.

    Make the High Street car free between East Street and West Street between a certain time. Arrange for a couple of more unloading spaces which can be used also for the Community bus during the car free time.
    Within this strategy perhaps the Community Transport could be supported financially to put on specific rides from the train/bus station for people who park in the farmers car park or arrive on train/bus and cannot walk up to the High Street.

    • Why would you have no parking at all between East Street and West Street at any particular time? That would waste twelve High Street parking spaces?

  6. Making the high street car free between East Street and West Street, would cause utter pandemonium, better to have two traffic wardens patrolling the town like it used to be,they would easily pay for themselves, putting meters in a conservation area just about sums up how out of touch East Sussex county council are, regarding this town.

  7. It might be prudent to ask our local Rother Councilor where the money goes from any (totally unsuitable visually or practically) meters. I have a feeling it will not go to Rye Town but into the revenue gap of Rother finances.

  8. I too attended the consultation. Why is it that Watchbell Street residents can get a permit but other citadel residents with parking on their streets don’t have that option? Market Street and should have the same option.

    ESCC’s representative ‘Dan’ told me that Market Street used to have more shops / retail so they started off their policy for the street with that in mind. I asked Dan to look out the window of the Town Hall and he correctly identified one shop and a dozen residences. It was also pointed out that one residents car has not moved from 1hr no return space for 5 weeks!!!! I digress, clearly the street’s economic make up has changed since ESCC last looked. No need for stables for ones horse anymore ESCC, just a permit to park.

  9. We were fortunate to live in the city of Bath in the 1970’s. They introduced a really imaginative and successful traffic management scheme in the city centre. There was only one way in, which led to a long and slow route towards one way out. Drivers only went into the centre if absolute necessary.
    Later, we lived in Gibraltar where the streets are narrow and Main Street was pedestrianised during the day. All traffic moved slowly! Rumour had it, that some cars had to tour the Rock all night because there were less parking spaces than there were cars. They now have a multi-storey car park near the centre of town.
    In Falmouth there is a heavy duty rise and fall bollard at the entry to the High Street, to limit access to those who really need it. It reduces but doesn’t eliminate traffic through the tourist area.
    Imaginative schemes slow traffic, make access uncomfortable and “go nowhere”, so that drivers don’t enter unless they have good cause to do so.
    Rye is small and special, with vested interests, so most “suggestions” are likely to draw adverse comments from somewhere but how about a change to traffic flow: in via Market Road, left or right at the top, right just goes back out down the Mint. Left could go as far as the George, then up Lion Street, down East Street and out via Landgate. This would make access less attractive. The High Street and the Mint would no longer be a through route.
    Are there are other possibilities that would be “unattractive” to drivers and thus reduce traffic flow?
    Special arrangements could be made for bonfire night, Christmas or classic car parades.
    Any changes are likely to have pros and cons but without doing something, anarchy, illegal parking, obstruction and selfishness will continue to blight Rye!

  10. Unfortunately the rye news printed the wrong times of the meeting in the town hall for Saturday December 1st . I went round to visit and the town hall was in darkness…
    Who checks vital details before publishing?

  11. I am surprised, reading the comments already posted, at the absence of comment on the total lack of provision for residents’ parking in these provisions. Generally I believe that the proposals are the worst possible solution. I have submitted my comments below to the online consultation at “www.eastsussex.gov.uk/haveyoursay” and I urge all residents of Rye to make a submission.

    The Rye Parking proposals are completely unworkable because they make no provision for residents parking in any of the area covered by Pay and Display. There must be a system of residents’ parking permits throughout the area of controlled parking. Even in the High Street there is at least one residence above every shop. Many residents in this area are elderly and not so mobile so need to be able to park close to their homes. I believe that all the controlled area should have Pay and Display plus residents parking permits at one permit per household and a system for tradespeople to buy a weekly, monthly or annual permit. In many parts of London there is a system where residents can buy visitor permits for an hour or a day and I think that could be incorporated. This system would not guarantee a place for residents but would be no worse than the current situation.

    As regards the pay and display meters I do not see why they need to be so big and unattractive or so numerous. Rye is a beautiful historic town where we are not allowed to change the colour of our front doors without permission and 20 of these machines would be a terrible blight on that.

  12. Gibbet Marsh; Rye’s secret car park. Visitors to Rye probably do not have a clue that it exists, let alone having knowledge of the short cut into Rye; that requires the individual to use an unmanned gate to cross over the railway line. The cost of using the Gibbet Marsh car park is also not competitive compared with the £2.00 all day charge of the ‘Market’ car park, which is a lot nearer. The way motorists think is; can I park for free anywhere without time restrictions. The outcome is that nearest free parking is on the Tilling Green Estate. The result could well be that the local residents living on the estate will end up having to purchase a street parking permit; to ‘control’ the parking problem it now has. When you think it was proposed to build on Gibbet Marsh, because the car park is under used, you can see the lack of joined up thinking that goes on!


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