Disabled people now have an extra ‘reserved’ parking space in Uckfield High Street.
One of the existing parking spaces is set aside for the disabled after East Sussex Highways carried out re-lining and putting in signage on the eastern side of the road, opposite the public library.
Since the town centre roadworks were completed in 2016, there have been two spaces reserved for the disabled on the western side of the street, near the traffic lights at the junction with Bell Farm Lane.
These two spaces have been more clearly marked.
The provision of parking spaces in the High Street was a controversial feature of the improvement works.
Many felt there should have been more parking spaces provided, others said delivery bays should have been installed while the disabled said more bays should be set-aside for their needs, particularly at the top of the High Street.
Last May, the county council announced that the parking arrangements would be formally monitored – there were 26 parking spaces with a maximum stay of 30 minutes, with the two disabled bays having a three-hour limit.
At the time the county council said: “The improvements made to help mitigate the impact of additional traffic generated by development have had time to bed in, and it is important that we properly monitor the time-limited bays to make sure they are having the desired effect.
“We believe the 30 minute time-limit will encourage greater turnover of parking spaces increasing the availability of parking in the High Street, encourage greater use of the off-street car parks and result in people spending more time in the town centre.
“We will assess the effect of formal restrictions and would encourage people to give us their views during the six month consultation period.”
The county council statement added:
“The experimental order will help the enforcement of parking arrangements in the High Street. As parking has not been decriminalised in Wealden, enforcement is carried out by Sussex Police.”
Enforcement of the regulations has been a bone of contention for some years with drivers over-staying the 30-minute limit while others park on the pavement.
Many towns and districts in the country have what is known as civil parking enforcement (CPE), where local authorities are responsible for enforcing on-street parking controls.
There is no CPE in Wealden.
There were proposals to bring CPE to Wealden in 2018 but it was dropped because it was felt parking meters would ‘urbanise’ the street scene and “not sit well with the existing look of Wealden towns and villages”.
As a result, on-street parking enforcement remains with Sussex Police which for some time has said the matter is a low priority, unless the parking causes a danger to others.