Car parking in Ely a step closer

PUBLISHED: 11:58 10 March 2011

ECDC

ECDC

Archant

CAR park charging in Ely has moved a step closer this week after plans to introduce the new scheme were submitted to the Government for final approval.

And, if both Cambridgeshire County Council and the Department for Transport (DfT) agree, the city could see a charging system introduced as early as next year.

District councillors agreed to submit the plans to the DfT at a meeting of full council last week, with the majority of both conservative and liberal democrat councillors approving the plans.

City traders remain angry about the prospect of charging however, and believe it will be bad for business.

In a letter to the Ely Standard, Barry Lonsdale from the Ely Traders Association, said: “It is the widespread opinion that introducing parking charges to Ely will have a detrimental effect on our city centre.

“The ability of Tesco to offer free parking gives an obvious advantage to out-of-town

stores.

“It is not only businesses that suffer from the decline of the city centre but is a blight on

anyone using Ely as their market town and service provider.”

Mr Lonsdale went on to ask: “Wasn’t the 10,000-signature petition supporting free

parking last time enough?”

If the DfT approve the scheme, East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) say it will see them take on responsible for enforcing on-street parking controls from the police.

It will also give them greater control over the reduction of illegal or inconsiderate parking.

Cllr Fred Brown, leader of ECDC, said: “We are making good progress with our plans to improve the way parking is managed in the district. We have all experienced the problems of parking in Ely in particular with the city only having a limited number of spaces but an ever growing demand.

“Our aim is to deliver a fully integrated parking scheme by 2012 which will create real value for money for residents who are relying on us to deliver an effective solution. They know better than anyone the problems caused misuse of pedestrian areas and people parking too long.”

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