Debate over car parking

PUBLISHED: 11:42 13 September 2007 | UPDATED: 12:46 04 May 2010

THE future of Ely s car parks was due to be decided last night (Wednesday) after feedback from the public forced the council to alter its proposals. East Cambridgeshire District Council members debated changing three car parks in the town centre to shor

THE future of Ely's car parks was due to be decided last night (Wednesday) after feedback from the public forced the council to alter its proposals.

East Cambridgeshire District Council members debated changing three car parks in the town centre to short stay with maximum time limits of four hours.

St Mary's Road car park will still have a two-hour limit, but extra spaces will be created. Forehill will become short stay with a maximum stay of four hours and the Grange will be short stay on Saturdays. The proposals come into force by December 10, and are planned to coincide with the opening of Angel Drove car park.

The council is hoping to encourage commuters to use a new park-and-ride service from Angel Drove, where parking charges will be set at £2.50 a day or £11 per week. And in order to encourage commuters to park out of town there will be a 90-minute limit on parking in Ship Lane, Barton Road and Fisherman's Drove during peak hours of the morning.

Among the concerns were that rail commuters to London would start parking all day in Angel Drove, leaving few spaces for Ely's workers who would arrive later.

Opposition councillors support the building of Angel Drove, but say there is no coherent transport strategy and that the road network just won't be able to cope.

Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Environment and Transport Ian Allen said: "You've got this absurd situation where parking in the centre of town will be free, albeit short-stay, and the edges will be charged."

Council leader Brian Ashton said the plans were designed to encourage shoppers and short-term visitors to the town centre. Park and ride from Angel Drove is scheduled to run on Saturdays only, leaving Angel Drove free to be used mostly by rail commuters in the week.

Chairman of the Environment and Transport Committee, Cllr John Seaman, says doing nothing is not an option, and that transport problems are increasing.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? What are the solutions to parking in Ely Write to the Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4LS or email the editor at: editor@ely-standard.co.uk

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