Are wardens the answer to parking chaos?

Illegal parking in Rye. 25/2/14'West Street SUS-140225-121259001
Illegal parking in Rye. 25/2/14'West Street SUS-140225-121259001

A Community Warden scheme similar to that used in nearby Headcorn could help ease Rye’s traffic problems believes Cllr Granville Bantick.

Cllr Bantick, who chairs the town’s Highways Forum has been exploring ways to tackle traffic congestion and illegal parking in the centre of Rye.

The matter has taken on more urgency with two recent incidents where fire engines attending call-outs have been blocked by illegally parked vehicles.

At last week’s Rye Council meeting Cllr Bantick asked for the appointment of a Town Warden to be postponed in favour of having a community warden who could back up police in parking enforcement, but this did not succeed.

Cllr Bantick said: “Such a post is not uncommon in other towns. Headcorn, which I visit regularly, has a Community Warden.

“I spotted a report which he writes monthly in the parish magazine. I shall be visiting him shortly to discover more about his duties and learn what it costs the council.

I was very disappointed with the outcome on Monday evening. I thought Council members had not thought deeply enough with the possible outcome of not having any traffic management in the town.

I had a private meeting with Chief Inspector Warren Franklin on the 31st July.

“Unfortunately, members of the Forum opposed the proposal of Community Wardens when it came to a vote.

“The members who opposed were adamant that the parking enforcement should really be with Sussex Police which is understandable, but CI Warren Franklin has told me that in no way will they have parking enforcement as their priority now the financial cut backs have reduced their numbers as more important police matters have to be taken into account.

“Likewise traffic wardens are unlikely ever to return.

“Chief Inspector Warren Franklin and I are continuing to seek a way forward out of this morass.

“An alternative to this chaos has to be found.”