Parking For Some Ely Residents Is A Nightmare

PUBLISHED: 15:32 22 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:56 04 May 2010

PARKING for some residents in the restricted central zone of Ely is a nightmare. Living in pre-motor era terraced cottages and houses, which constitute part of the historic atmosphere of the city, many do not enjoy the benefit of an accessible vehicle spa

PARKING for some residents in the restricted central zone of Ely is a nightmare. Living in pre-motor era terraced cottages and houses, which constitute part of the historic atmosphere of the city, many do not enjoy the benefit of an accessible vehicle space on their property.

These residents have pursued a campaign to persuade East Cambridgeshire District Council to extend the Business Parking Permit scheme to include residents who can demonstrate a real need for similar consideration. Councillors, particularly most Conservative members of the Environment & Transport Committee, have robustly blocked any move to amend the permit scheme in this way.

The result is an unrelenting daily shuffle of vehicles from over-night on-street to day-time off-street parking, and an evening counter move; regardless of the ultimate use of the vehicle.

Now the district council has used the need for the county council to review on-street parking as a blatant excuse to side-step the issue.

The discriminatory terms of the Business Permit scheme as set by the district council are arbitrarily flexible enough to allow a bizarre rising fee scale for 2009 (the more you have the more you pay) and to re-define eligible applicants as those able to produce a Business Rates demand; thereby, presumably, excluding many self-employed, self-assessed, people in business, perhaps in shared premises, who may have to start work well before 8.31am.

In the past eighteen months, no councillor has attempted to give a reasoned explanation as to why the Business Permit scheme cannot be extended to residents sorely affected by the 2008 Parking Order. However, some councillors have, at various times, shown their real colours in this matter, to the lingering infuriation of those lobbying for change.

We are bitterly disappointed that our elected representatives cannot put aside their 'party' whip in a matter that should have no political bearing but is one that requires some common-sense. A further period, possibly two years or maybe more, of disturbed breakfasts and futile space hopping will not endear many local residents, when considering their electoral options, to entrenched names.

CHRISTOPHER & VALERIE BENT

Broad Street

Ely

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