Wanted: One backbone for use by RTC

Ignoring empty spaces opposite, delivery vans opt for the double yellow lines and effectively block the High Street

The question of parking problems in the town came up at the Rye Town Council (RTC) meeting this week.

It would seem that, after previously refusing to even consider the problem, Rother District Council is now prepared to discuss the idea of Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE). This was demanded by the audience at the Town meeting with the Police and Crime Commissioner earlier this year and even one of our RDC councillors (the other continues to appear silent and invisible), Lord Ampthill, who had previously gone along with the Bexhill view of no enforcement, agreed to try and persuade Rother to reconsider the matter.

So, on Monday RTC were asked to approve, in principle, only, the idea of CPE. And what happened? Every excuse under the sun was brought up. And excuse is the correct word, very few of the reasons given bear any real validity: it might go wrong, it might not work, it might this, it might that.

Yes, all these things might be the case, but then again, they might not. That is the reason why it needs to be properly debated by Rother. For that to happen RTC needs to give it support and not to do so is, quite frankly, an absolute dereliction of the duty they are entrusted with. Rye deserves better than this. We have often criticised our representatives on Rother but we now have a situation where one of them may be trying to do something useful and the very least we should be doing is to support him. As it is, the Town Councillors appear to have bottled it.

It is not as if CPE is expected to be the solution on its own. Others, that could go hand in hand with it have been proposed, for example: park and ride for the visitors, reducing parking charges in Rother-controlled carparks to the level in some of the non-council ones, thus giving greater encouragement for people to use them, pedestrianising certain areas, and residents parking only in other areas. All these options – and probably others – are open for consideration.

When the current  Rye Town Council was elected, many of us thought that they would be more active and also more pro-active than previous councils. Sadly, it seems we were mistaken and we are now in the hands of an unambitious group of people who seem to be very keen on becoming landlords but care very little for some of the other problems in the town.

Please prove me wrong.

Photo: Rye News library


  1. What is it with Town Councils? I lived in Bodmin for 12 years and the level of inactivity there was exactly the same. The only decisions they seemed capable of making were to increase car parking charges / decrease the hours charges did not apply. And this was a town that would live or die by its visitors – which they appeared to do their best to discourage,

  2. One of the biggest problem, is cinque ports street, in Rye, the paths are in an appalling state, with lorries and cars continuing to park on them, and disabled and pedestrians, having to risk, an arm and a leg,to get around them.

  3. The vans and car parking on the pavement are causing increasing problems, as we all know. It is now almost impossible to walk anywhere without having to go out onto the cobbles, difficult for people with canes or walkers or push chairs. The secondary issue is that we will have to pay for the cracks appearing from the weight of the vans on the pavement. Further, I would not be surprised if the town is sued by someone falling because of all this mess.

    We pay to park on Watchbell Street but a recent perusal of the vehicles taking up the spaces revealed 10 out of twenty were workers or visitors without parking stickers. Because everyone is aware that there is no enforcement it has become a free-for-all. Come on, elected Councillors – do your job and sort this out. it is beyond a joke.


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