Free parking is an attraction Ely should be boasting about

WHY is East Cambridgeshire District Council proposing to end one of the most important assets Ely possesses by introducing parking charges?

Free parking is one of the main attractions of which Ely can boast over most, if not all, the surrounding towns and cities. More should be advertising it.

Many arguments have already been put forward for and against these proposals.

Most recently, we have heard that charges “will be enforced on Sundays, because Sunday is not different to any other day”. I would argue that for many people it is.

Whether for worship, shopping or enjoying leisure amenities – Sunday is the day for one or all of these, for families or groups of friends.

Another point was that “those using the service would be paying for it”. Well, pity the motorist! We all pay for services which, at some point, we do not use. Car drivers are already heavily penalised by the cost of petrol.

Further, it was suggested that shops could recompense part or all of these charges. A joke, I hope, or a suggestion which could be expanded to include offices, pubs, clubs or any business that people come into Ely for.

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Then maybe the council would find a way to defray the costs of businesses that defray the costs of parking charges. What joy that would make a VAT return.

More effort should be put into making free parking a positive for Ely.