PUBLISHED: 09:59 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 13:36 04 May 2010
CONGRATULATIONS to Cllr Brian Ashton and the Conservative group on East Cambridgeshire District Council for coming up with proposals, now accepted by the council, for action on Ely s parking problems. Along with Elaine Griffin-Singh, representing the Ely
CONGRATULATIONS to Cllr Brian Ashton and the Conservative group on East Cambridgeshire District Council for coming up with proposals, now accepted by the council, for action on Ely's parking problems.
Along with Elaine Griffin-Singh, representing the Ely Traders' Association, I sat on the working party looking at Ely's traffic and parking problems. We were both opposed to bringing in charges and nothing we heard from the consultants or other experts there convinced us otherwise.
We argued that tackling the problem of commuter parking at the station should be the first priority and then adjusting the length of stay on existing car parks could ease the problems. The Conservative proposals, which contain more than just the headline grabbing new car park at the Cambridgeshire Business Park, seem a comprehensive package that addresses the role of Ely as a market town. Many people have to come to Ely by car from surrounding villages for essential services and shops, many others come in from the outlying area to work in shops and businesses. They contribute enormously to the city's economy. For them, whether the anti-car lobby likes it or not, buses are not a practical or financially viable answer. The new proposals should free up car parking spaces currently occupied all day by commuters.
We only have to look at the muddle and chaos in Newmarket to realise that employing consultants is not always the best answer and that some local knowledge and common sense can also be applied. It is cheaper too.
Could we now have some equally imaginative proposals for increasing Ely's retail range, for creating more local employment, for improving the recreational, leisure and entertainment facilities, before all the developable land is swallowed up by housing?
No need to employ consultants either, there's James Paice's survey to inform, officers to advise and councillors to contribute their vision of the future.