It's our version of the space race

PUBLISHED: 12:07 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 13:27 04 May 2010

I THOUGHT I would pen a letter to update readers on the parking situation in Ely. As everyone knows, we were told 18 months ago that something needed to be done. No new parking space has emerged and we are soon to lose the Cresswells Lane car park. The

I THOUGHT I would pen a letter to update readers on the parking situation in Ely. As everyone knows, we were told 18 months ago that something needed to be done.

No new parking space has emerged and we are soon to lose the Cresswells Lane car park.

The district council would, no doubt, argue that if they had been allowed to introduce charging they would be £2.5m better off and we might now have some more parking space. But the truth is, the public would now be £2.5m worse off.

I think the main problem we have is that the council will never agree. A short while ago it was agreed in a council meeting to use some of the money given by the Tesco 106 Agreement to build a car park for commuters.

Although there are areas of land in Angel Drove that are unused, we still haven't seen a 'sold' board.

We have been advised that the council is negotiating with the rail authorities for a more comprehensive and integrated system . . . whatever that means.

I suggest the council is reluctant to purchase the land and build a car park as it may just solve the majority of our problems as the 'need' for parking charges would be wiped away.

Last year, the Ely Traders' Association suggested more parking spaces could be made to our existing car parks. We also identified, through the Chamber of Commerce, a company that could plan the restructuring for £500. The consultants used by the council have decided that no more spaces could be gained in our car parks without making them unworkable.

I am sure we have all noticed the area at the bottom of the Broad Street Car Park where we could have a further row of about 30 spaces just by moving some white lines. I also wondered what that particular piece of consultation cost the tax payer? Not more than £500, I hope.

On the plus side, the traders' association has managed to secure a liaison with the council through its city team leader, Alison Callaby. There are so many issues now threatening our city centre, small shopkeepers and business in general that we felt this liaison was necessary.

The ETA urges the council to stop angling towards parking charges and use Government policy to advantage and benefit Ely rather than hide behind it. We are a small market town with no desire to change the course of the world and we need saving now.

ELAINE GRIFFIN-SINGH

Chairman

Ely Traders' Association

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