The meters are coming

Line painting on an empty Rye High Street as a disabled parking bay is being installed outside Rye Art Gallery


Yellow signs appear all over central Rye

As summer turns to autumn, there is a chill in the air as our worst premonitions come to roost. Lines are drawn, sides are taken, and soon new street architecture will appear. And Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) may be feared as much as Covid-19 for a sea change is coming – but on land. CPE will be here before the year is out, and Rye will never be the same again.

Wardens stalking the streets and meters that always need to be fed. But, first, lines need to be drawn in the sand (or on the road) to define the regulations, ignored for so long. And there will be no going back. Meters here, permits there, controls everywhere.

Garages may sprout where once they were never conceived, and flowerbeds may be paved over, as an old town steps into a new world.

Briefly, the streets are cleared for parking to leave its mark on Rye


Image Credits: Nick Forman .


  1. I don’t think the author of the article is to happy with the enforcement of parking restrictions.
    I would prefer to call their working activity as patrolling the streets not stalking.
    Here’s a definition of stalking from Wikipedia
    1 : a person who stalks : a person who pursues someone obsessively and aggressively to the point of harassment.

  2. Whose worst premonitions? When we last had traffic wardens ‘stalking the streets’ in Rye it was possible to find a parking spot for one hour quite easily – the good old days that hopefully we are going back to.
    As for garages sprouting up and flower beds being paved over – just a ludicrous comment!

  3. Hello Charles. I am concerned that flower beds will be paved over. To whom do the flower beds belong please and where exactly are they? Who will be doing the paving over and has permission been given for this?

  4. What a dramatic article! I can only think is been written with an element of humour?

    So meters? Is this going to stop people parking along Rope Walk on a single yellow Line causing congestion on market day? Or cars parking along Cinque Port Street outside the DIY shop. Probably not.

  5. The final line reads “As an town steps into new world”
    What it should say is “As an old town finally steps into the real world”

    Many of those who have lived in Rye for more than 5 minutes will remember the black and yellow peril that was the traffic warden patrolling his and her patch, park there if you dare, easy access to the narrow junctions and no cars parked in the High Street for months on end.
    As for building a garage? Good luck getting it by the planning committee, not much else gets by them.

  6. ‘Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) may be feared as much as Covid-19…’. Might that thought be a tad over the top – not to say tasteless? Personally I think it might be quite nice to see fewer disabled bays illegally occupied, fewer cars on pedestrian crossing zig-zags, or blocking streets and pavements… And, as others have remarked, the chance of finding a legitimate space when needed.

  7. Perhaps there wouldn’t be a need for parking meters if we actually inforced the rules we already have. I am constantly amazed at the stupidity of people’s parking in the town and the lack of will by the police and council to do anything about it. For example, I’ve watched a police car squeeze through the tiny gap left by drivers parked for Papermaze on the zigzags nearly to the traffic island and then drive off, doing nothing about this blatant and potentially dangerous offence. The council know this sort of thing happens all the time but won’t employ a warden. Let’s be honest, they do not care about the parking problems in Rye. The addition of meters in the town is just another way of them swelling their coffers. The council could always prove me wrong by giving the first hour free, thus allowing us locals to run our errands without charge….. but there’s a fat chance of that happening!

    • To be fair Rother District Council pressed County for the Civil Parking Enforcement precisely because it wanted the rules enforced. In other words the council saw the problem and acted. I and many others would have liked to see a short period free eg 20 mins, but County declined.
      The arrangements will be reviewed in a year.
      Declaration of interest – I am a Rother District Councillor for Southern Rother (Lib Dem)

  8. Don’t hold your breath folks. The question of where exactly the wardens would be ‘stalking’ (and yes, that is a good description of their proposed activity) was asked at the initial public meeting the response was: ‘Only the roads with parking bays and meters’. When pressed about patrolling South Undercliff, Ferry Road, Rope Walk, Winchelsea Road and Military Road the answer (from the ESCC rep) was no, that is a police job. In other words if you hope for more freely flowing traffic, forget it. The town parking problems will be pushed to the outskirts and the gridlock often seen, will just be repeated.

  9. Get ready as the freeloaders that have been hogging all the parking places in the town, move further out as Cliff says, watch out Valley park,tilling green, military road,and love lane,as these people descend on your patch,with know thought for residents that live there.

  10. Absolutely excellent news!! About time people started to park properly again! After….how many years its been since we had enforcement here, finally we may be able to walk down the pavements without having to dodge and negotiate illegally parked vehicles!
    The amount being abandoned (You cannot say “parked” as many are left, sprawled all over the place!) on double yellow lines, on tight corners (like top of East Street) or left on the high street for days on end. It NEEDS to be controlled.
    And everyone moaning about how untidy it will look…. so a town packed nose to tale with illegal cars looks tidy to them? Its tough I`m afraid… if people didn’t flounce the rules like they have been doing for so long, then maybe these steps wouldn’t be necessary… you reap what you sow.
    I welcome these new rules.

  11. RDC should have offered the residents of Rye, (and by that I mean people who actually live in Rye all the time) an opportunity to purchase an annual parking ticket. I have no idea where I am going to park when the new restrictions come into force.
    Certainly High Street parking should be for Disabled and Deliveries only. In these times of social distancing, I have had to walk in the middle of the road, because the pavements were too full, so the fewer cars there, the better.

  12. Its time permit parking for Rye streets, outside the high street,were made available to people who live on a street where parking is legal, one wekend couple openly brag once they are down for the weekend,and sometimes longer, they head for military road to park up,this is not fair to the residents of that road and others in Rye, others should use the 10 carparks available for parking their cars.

  13. For too long business owners and residents have blocked parking in the town by leaving cars for whole days, or even weeks at a time in limited time bays – I remember getting a ticket by the old style traffic warden as I had overstayed my 1 hour wait in the high street – I think that was in 1980 – wow there must of been this limited parking thing for the past 40 years …

  14. Oh wow! For the first time in many years we were able to drive the two miles that we live from Rye, park with ease in the High Street, visit Nationwide and Boots, enjoy a coffee (outdoors) in the Kino, and all within a 20p charge. And there was ample parking space everywhere we looked – and on a sunny Market Day afternoon! Early days, I know, but it feels somehow as if we have got our local town back.

    On the downside, the machines don’t seem to display the time and charges, and if you want to use your mobile via Ringo then the small print says that there will be a small service charge. Exactly what that charge is isn’t displayed, but I imagine it could be significant in percentage terms when the maximum charge on the meter is 80p for 2 hours. I can also understand that the Kino is less than enthusiastic with a maximum stay time of 2 hours to create the necessary turnover of spaces – how long is a feature film and trailers these days?


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