New station car park adds up to a real benefit for Ely

PUBLISHED: 09:39 10 November 2006 | UPDATED: 12:06 04 May 2010

SUGGESTIONS that the new car park near the station proposed by the Conservatives is nothing but an election ploy have driven me to write. No individual has worked more diligently than the Conservative group leader, Cllr Brian Ashton, to produce far-sight

SUGGESTIONS that the new car park near the station proposed by the Conservatives is nothing but an election ploy have driven me to write. No individual has worked more diligently than the Conservative group leader, Cllr Brian Ashton, to produce far-sighted and intelligent plans for the future of Ely. In response, every attempt to make things happen has been manipulated, misinterpreted and maligned by the Liberal Democrat opposition and the electorate soundly hoodwinked.

It would be a tragedy if another opportunity fell by the wayside. With no affordable land in the city centre to build a new short-term car park for shoppers and visitors to Ely, it surely makes sense to provide sufficient long-term parking near the station to attract the commuters who currently take up most of our long-term parking places.

The business plan is to purchase land for more than 180 extra spaces less than four minutes walk from the station. This should please everyone, especially the taxpayer as it won't cost them anything. A 'no-brainer', it would seem?

How can this work? The commuters who use the new car park will pay a reasonable daily charge with no risk of parking penalties. East Cambs ratepayers get back their investment over 15 to 20 years depending on usage. To help speed up the repayment, on Saturdays a park-and-ride scheme is to be trialled, and, if popular, continued.

Is there a benefit to Ely? Shorter parking rules will be enforced on existing city centre car parks which will remain free for shoppers. Similarly, city workers will be provided with parking spaces timed to suit their needs, but not long enough to attract daily commuters using the station.

There's a bonus too. If after 20 years or so, cars are but a distant memory, taxpayers will still own the land and can do with it what they will.

Who can object to such a sensible plan: Perhaps a political party with an agenda that will lead to the strangulation of Ely? If anyone still doesn't understand the sums, I would be pleased to explain in simple language how it all adds up to a real benefit for Ely

RON BRADNEY

The Apartment

Newnham Street Ely

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