LETTERS: The 'nightmare' that is Forehill, Ely

The parking nightmare on Forehill, Ely, continues

The parking nightmare on Forehill, Ely, continues to dominant the thoughts of many of our readers. - Credit: Ian Kidd

Illegal parking potential ‘to cause harm’ 

Ian Kidd is right to raise the issue of parking on Forehill, Ely. 

City centre parking regulations don’t appear to be enforced in any way,  

Forehill is probably the worst example of illegal parking, however illegal parking in the pedestrian areas around the Market Square is also common and the regulations never seem to be enforced. 

I’m sure little will happen until we have an incident where the emergency services are obstructed, can’t get where they need to because of illegal parking and serious consequences or a tragedy result. 

In the scale of things, the large mug inconveniences no one, obstructs no one and probably bothers very few people.   

By comparison, the illegal parking on Forehill causes a major inconvenience to many, has the potential to cause harm and bothers many people. 

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The large mug appeared very recently and generated an almost immediate response from the council, however, the illegal parking problems around the city that have been present for a long time seem to be completely ignored by the council.   

Are they focussed on serving their constituents or satisfying their own egos? 



We need better policing  

Perhaps it would help if the police weren't so restricted and actually able to do the job taxpayers help to pay for then something might be done. 

There should be a police presence to deter these drivers otherwise the law will continue to be flouted. 

What happens if an ambulance or fire engine needs to get through? 

It beggars' belief. Obviously, no one cares. 



Parking becoming a joke  
The parking on Forehill is getting to be a joke. 

Why can't the parking attendants who ticket people who park too long in the short stay car parks ticket the vehicle who break the law parking on Forehill? 

Living in Broad Street I potter into Ely via Forehill most days and without fail the hill has vehicles of all types parked on both sides of the road.   

Some are from the estate agents as they pop into their office, some are delivering and others have people sitting in their vans eating a sandwich from the café on the hill.  

I have seen the zipper bus mount the pavement several times in order to get through.   

This is not helped by drivers not stopping at the High Street junction.  

I think many drivers think they have the right of way down the hill thus making things even worse as often there is nowhere to go to let oncoming traffic pass. 

This has been happening for many years now but getting worse by the day.  I thought the Ely Ranger was meant to be keeping an eye on parking on the hill and was able to issue parking tickets.  Do we still have a ranger? 

 I fear nothing will get done until there is a serious accident and then someone might take some action. 



A former bus driver writes... 

I write in reply to the article regarding parking on Forehill.  

I have to agree that this is now every day and not just on Forehill.  

As a former bus driver 2019/20 coming into Ely, parking has been problematic for a long time.  

There is no on street enforcement meaning the loading bays on Market Street are parked in (sometime all day by local business owners) and then lorries have to use bus stops which then results in buses not being able to stop in the correct place. 

Parking in loading bays along the High Street which then means the only way some deliveries can be made is by blocking the road.  

The market pedestrian zone is a free for all and has drivers using it as a cut through.  

We are lucky to have free parking in our city but desperately need to have civil parking enforcement.  

This works in Cambridge so why not Ely? 

We should also have bollards for the market to stop traffic between certain times to create a safe space for all visitors.  

My other thought when bus driving was to make Market Street for buses, taxis and loading only. (Enforcement by ANPR camera like bus lanes) Then make the high street blue badge only or something equivalent.  

If something is not done soon visitors and shoppers will start to avoid Ey because of traffic problems.  


Via email 

Not confined to Forehill

It’s a city-wide issue 

It's not just Forehill in Ely. 

I spoke to a police foot patrol a couple of weeks ago and asked them to ticket to cars parked in disabled bays without blue badges in Market Street and was told it was not their job to issue them.  

If this is the case whose job, is it and when will anyone ever get a ticket? 

I know parking in Ely is mostly free but this takes the biscuit when you can park where you want when you want for as long as you want. 


Via email 

Storm in a teacup  

I know many have voiced this but I simply cannot understand the small-minded objections to the giant teacup at the High Flyer pub in Ely. 

Some people clearly have nothing else to moan about at the moment. I actually went past it for the first time yesterday after only seeing a photo of it in the paper previously. 

My first thought was “What’s all the fuss about?”!!  

It was nowhere near as big as it looked in the photos (which were obviously taken from such an angle as to exaggerate it). 

It looked lovely, especially with the Alice in Wonderland drawings.  

I feel it enhances the pub and is very much in keeping with our beautiful city.  

In fact, if allowed to stay, I’m sure it will feature on postcards of Ely. 

I cannot believe anyone could be so petty as to demand it be removed, especially at a time like this when businesses need all the help they can get. 

We could all do with some positivi-tea!  

Come on, ECDC - stop being Jobsworths, listen to the people of Ely and let it stay! 


Worried about pits sign 

As a keen runner and nature lover, I was concerned by this sign at the entrance to the Roswell Pits nature reserve during my run today.  

The land was recently very quietly sold off by the Environment Agency to a private landowner.  

From the new signage that went up very recently, it is unclear whether members of the public are allowed to visit without prior permission or if we can visit if we stick to the footpaths?  

We have so few of these spaces left and these are vital for our mental health and well-being.  

There will be a lot of devastated people in Ely if this precious, peaceful space, that has been enjoyed by generations, is now out of bounds! 

Please investigate. 



Who will answer my plea? 

I wanted to talk to the person responsible for closing the A142 that prevented my choir members from getting home sensibly last Tuesday night.  

I wanted to ask if it will be the same next Tuesday and if so, could they close the road from midnight rather than 8 pm when evening activities are severely curtailed.  

If not this time, to do so with future closures.  

I phoned East Cambs Council who gave me the phone number for Highways Cambridgeshire.  

I asked Highways Cambridgeshire if the road from Witchford to Sutton (A142) would be closed next Tuesday when we have choir practice in Witchford.   

Highways Cambridgeshire told me it was nothing to do with them, it was Highways England dealing with it.  

I phoned Highways England who told me it was Highways Cambridgeshire.  

I phoned Highways Cambridgeshire again who put me on hold and then cut me off. I dialled again and was cut off again. I dialled again; the phone was answered.   

They said they had tried to phone the head of the project, but there was no answer and could not leave a message for there was no facility for this.  

They said they would email them and ask them to contact me.  

They were not allowed to give me their number from customer services, and when I said that, actually, I was a parish councillor, they said it was the same – i.e., we are not permitted to talk to the project manager.  

If I was a county councillor, I would have an internal number I could use.  

Can you help please?  

All we want to do is to persuade whoever decides to close the A142 in the evenings, to close at a later time – e.g., midnight, which I believe used to be the case.  

At the moment it is disrupting our choir rehearsals for a concert in October.