Grounds for concern
PUBLISHED: 16:28 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 13:30 04 May 2010
I RECENTLY became aware of this proposal to convert some of the cathedral meadows into a car park. While not being alone in voicing my opinion that this is nothing short of criminal, I would like to add some further observations. Ely actually has extensiv
I RECENTLY became aware of this proposal to convert some of the cathedral meadows into a car park. While not being alone in voicing my opinion that this is nothing short of criminal, I would like to add some further observations.
Ely actually has extensive parking facilities, and much of it very close to the city centre.
The problem is, in my opinion, that since all this parking is free, much of it is used unnecessarily. Being a fairly compact township, few houses are more than a mile from the centre, an easy walking distance for nearly everyone. Yet I know that many people, who live in Ely, drive into the centre.
It is those incredibly lazy people who create the shortage of parking space and cause problems for those who live further afield and have a genuine need to use their cars. The attitude of these idle motorists is only echoed by the council who provide a Saturday park-and-ride facility little more than half a mile from the centre.
I believe that the short-term answer is the highly unpopular move of charging for parking. This may reduce the number of people who use their cars, but do actually have an alternative. (If is doesn't reduce the demand for parking, then why were shopkeepers up in arms at this recent proposal).
Longer term, and it is probably not as far away as most of us imagine, the situation will resolve itself as fuel prices rocket and ultimately fuel use becomes restricted.
I wonder how the advocates of the plan would explain to their offspring why they supported a plan, which raped a beautiful, peaceful area to provide an empty car park!
THE cathedral meadow forms part of Cherry Hill and is unique in setting off the actual view. I walk through the parkland daily, and so many times have observed tourists taking photographs of the cathedral with the meadows in the foreground. Such a beautiful setting, and as such, a good advertisement for other tourists to visit this lovely city. Can you imagine how this same photograph would look with a car park in the foreground?
The creation of other car parks possibly off Lisle Lane, down by the industrial estate near Angel Drove, or even in the other side of the railway station. There are several alternatives sites that could be utilised for this purpose without desecrating the cathedral view, and spoiling the existing Cherry Hill Park.
Surely, even the introduction of a park-and-ride bus on market days should not be an expensive alternative?
So much development has been carried out so tastefully both in and around the city, that to deliberately spoil such an enchanting viewpoint, would be sacrilege, and could never be undone.
I was so pleased that the Liberal Democrats were furious at the Conservatives recently, regarding the debate over the Cathedral land, accusing them of ignoring an Ely Standard poll.
The Lib Dems felt that a 90 per cent against vote should be taken very seriously from a total of 97 voters.
I feel very relieved then that, come the autumn when some officers wish to resurrect the parking charge debate, and when we request the Council take our petition off the shelf and give it a dust, of over 11,000 signatures all AGAINST parking charges with no fors, the issue should go away.
Ely Traders Association
I THINK the cathedral grounds are the most beautiful part of the city. They should not be spoilt because of rail companies' inability to provide adequate parking at Ely rail station. After all, Tesco managed to build an adequate sized car park in that area relatively recently
IT is outrageous that East Cambs District Council should contemplate taking Ely's green space for car parking, especially when it is so close to the city and cathedral.
Car parking charges would free up car parking space in the centre, or introduce park-and-ride from the city limits. This site is too precious to waste on cars.