Remember 11,000 said no' to city parking charges

PUBLISHED: 14:18 29 March 2007 | UPDATED: 13:54 04 May 2010

I WOULD like to take this opportunity to respond to Mr Gould s letter of last week in which he outlines some fears and queries regarding how the commuter car park will work, according to the Ely Traders Association s understanding, at least. The commuter

I WOULD like to take this opportunity to respond to Mr Gould's letter of last week in which he outlines some fears and queries regarding how the commuter car park will work, according to the Ely Traders' Association's understanding, at least.

The commuter car park and its related costs will be met by money given by Tesco in exchange for planning permission granted to extend its store. Rather than hand this money to the railway station, which was an alternative plan, the ETA were able to convince the district council that this land should be bought and retained by the city. Whereas the station would have charged £3.50 per day, as it currently does, the charge on our commuter car park will be £2 per day. The costings to repay the balance have been worked on this figure.

This, at least, is the figure that the council has stated all through the debate and we must ensure that this remains the case, otherwise, as Mr Gould quite rightly states, the exercise will fail and parking on residential streets will continue.

As stated, it certainly is the case that the Liberal Democrat party remain firmly in favour of introducing parking charges, the potential revenue is just too tempting and I am sure none of us is foolish enough to believe that the Conservatives will not be looking for excuses too after the election.

It is intended (speculated) that the park-and-ride, which currently operates from Downham Road on a Saturday will be extended to run from Angel Drove as well, this being possible as there should be less commuters using that car park on Saturdays.

If the schemes surrounding the Angel Drove car park are successful, it is thought that it may be possible to extend its capacity in the future through similar grants, thus extending the park-and-ride to Thursdays also. It is not thought likely that Ely could sustain a park-and-ride on all days.

It certainly is early days, and I believe until the commuter car park is up and running no one will be able to foresee results.

The council is already considering how to alter existing city car park time regimes to ensure that commuters use the new car park. It is a concern of the ETA that the council may purposely introduce regimes that will cause the commuter car park to fail, and thereby give the excuse for parking charges once again.

The ETA, however, are committed to ensuring that this scheme is introduced properly to ensure that locals and visitors are not penalised, and this week have written to the chief executive of ECDC for an update. We must continue to remind our councillors and officers that 11,000 people said 'no' to parking charges.

ELAINE GRIFFIN-SINGH

Chairman, Ely Traders' Association

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