Free parking may help boost trade in Rye

Rye Car Park October 13
Rye Car Park October 13

REDUCED charges and an hours free parking are on the way in some of Rye’s Rother run car parks.

Rye Rother councillor Sam Souster, who has been fighting for concessions, says it is a step in the right direction.

Rother has also agreed to improve signage directing motorists to the main long-stay car park at Gibbets Marsh.

Cllr Souster pointed out that the number of privately run car parks within Rye provided direct competition to the district council and that it had to have competitive rates.

He spoke out on Monday when the district council met to discuss the Car Parking Review.

He was pushing for Rother to introduce the same system used by Wealden Council, which has two hours free parking.

Cllr Souster said: “Rye has a predominance of private car parks with spaces in the hundreds which are cheaper than Rother Council car parks.

“Rother only appears to benefit from the unsuspecting tourist and a few locals on Thursday.

“The free parking on the streets of Rye is also a matter of concern to the Chamber of Commerce because obstructions are often caused and there is little enforcement for those who exceed the time limit.

“Gibbets Marsh, the largest of RDC Car Parks, has always under-performed financially because, to gain entry, drivers think they are leaving town and have no idea of the close proximity by walking across the railway to Strand Quay.

“Direction signs have been changed, but it does not appear to have been effective.

“As a number of RDC’s Services are shared with Wealden Council could not their system of free parking for twohours be adopted, certainly in Rye, which would encourage more shoppers and assist the local economy. I would strongly recommend that this is taken up in Rye.”

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Souster said: “I did not get the two hour parking but an hours free parking will help and I am pleased that the council has listened.”