Council rejects claim by Suffolk coach company that ending parking at Barton Road, Ely, could deter visitors wanting to come here
PUBLISHED: 11:18 01 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:18 01 March 2016
A Suffolk coach company failed to persuade East Cambs councillors to change their mind about ending parking at Barton Road car park.
Lorraine Reade, managing director of Lambert’s Coaches, Beccles, made her plea to councillors at their last meeting.
Her email was included in a question to councillors put by Barbara Grafton who queried the proposals to build 11 homes on the Barton Road car park.
She also mentioned the decision to include the closure of public toilets in Barton Road in a more recent set of proposals.
Mrs Grafton wanted to know if the council had considered the difficulties faced by Lambert’s and other coach companies who bring visitors to Ely.
In her email, Ms. Reade wrote: “If [coach] parking was removed, I fear that we would be forced to maybe go to other places for day trips, etc.
“We bring lots of groups to Ely for the day every year, as we are only about a two hour journey away, and places like the cathedral are always very popular.”
Ms. Reade said the coach park give the drivers opportunity to have a suitable rest break, and the toilet facilities make her company more likely to come to Ely “rather than places such as Cambridge, where facilities are very limited”.
She concludes: “Use us, don’t lose us as they say.”
Mrs Grafton wanted to know if the council had undertaken, or planned, a comprehensive survey of all coach companies visiting Ely “to seek their opinions on being restricted to 15 minutes in Barton Road car park and then having to drive to the city outskirts to park where there are no facilities for their drivers?
“If such a survey is not in the council’s thinking, it clearly is not undertaking an
adequate risk assessment of the consequences of this proposed development on Ely’s vital tourism revenues, or on the operating safety of coaches.”
Council leader James Palmer said: “The council is committed to providing alternative coach parking in Ely in close proximity to driver facilities. Specific proposals to provide sensible alternatives will form the basis of a public exhibition which will detail all aspects of the Barton Road Development.”