LETTER: ‘Have the council finally lost the plot altogether?’

What a jolly wheeze! Let’s close the toilets in Ely because there’s not enough money to “spend a penny”.

Then pay a whopping £6,500 per year for the privilege of parking coaches at Lancaster Way Business Park? Has this council finally lost the plot altogether?

When the original plans were submitted to build houses on Barton Road coach park the council planning department was inundated with well over a hundred letters of complaint.

Since then this council has tried to squirm its way out of this mess by suggesting the coach park could move to Sainsbury’s - not a hope! Now an expensive “temporary” move to Lancaster Way with a view to a permanent site at the proposed leisure centre at Downham Road. But the new leisure centre plans which this council have just approved DON’T HAVE A COACH PARK!

And in the meantime the latest proposals to rejig Barton Road car park to allow “more” car parking is a complete joke.

A single coach drop off point which could barely accommodate a minibus, let alone a touring coach of the size we see in Ely - and no safe refuge for passengers. To have a hope of making this work would require the loss of at least 10 spaces.

Then there’s the loss of the Poet’s House car park. The hotel staff and guests still have to park somewhere so that’s another 22 spaces in the public car park lost.

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The disabled bays have been reduced in these plans. To reinstate these would require the loss of a further three spaces.

Then, of course, there are the visitors to the proposed houses who are expected to park in Barton Road car park as it has “sufficient space for visitors” according to the council’s own planning statement. Eleven more spaces down the drain... And to cap it all, no mention whatsoever of arrangements for the market traders, storage for their stalls or for the street cleaner’s barrow.

In total I estimate that in the REAL WORLD we will be losing at least 37 public parking spaces, not gaining the measly nine that this council seems to think will placate the good people of Ely. And an out of town coach park with no facilities for drivers. It’s high time this council took a long hard look at what the people of Ely REALLY want.


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