Parking protesters want to avoid fines

PUBLISHED: 12:10 15 November 2007 | UPDATED: 13:04 04 May 2010

Parking protesters, from left, Sandra Blickem, John Rohda, Dave Kirby, Sarah Martin, Valerie Bent and Alison Rhoda-Jones call for residents’ permits outside the council offices.Photo: HELEN DRAKE

Parking protesters, from left, Sandra Blickem, John Rohda, Dave Kirby, Sarah Martin, Valerie Bent and Alison Rhoda-Jones call for residents’ permits outside the council offices.Photo: HELEN DRAKE

ANGRY Ely residents, who face losing their parking spaces to shoppers, took their fight to the district council on Tuesday afternoon. They joined forces outside The Grange, demonstrating with posters, as councillors arrived to discuss aspects of the new p

ANGRY Ely residents, who face losing their parking spaces to shoppers, took their fight to the district council on Tuesday afternoon.

They joined forces outside The Grange, demonstrating with posters, as councillors arrived to discuss aspects of the new parking regime coming into force on December 10.

The residents, who have lived in the city's Broad Street, Silver Street and Parade Lane for many years but have no designated parking outside their homes, want to be able to leave their cars in council-run car parks without running the risk of fines.

But when the changes come into force, early morning restrictions will mean vehicles can be left for just 90 minutes between 8am and 10am with no return within two hours.

Campaigner Alison Rohdar-Jones said: "We want stickers with our number plates on that we can put in our cars so that we don't get fined.

"I don't want to be jumping in and out of bed in the morning to move my car."

Alison, of Silver Street, had been parking her car along with others in bays near her home until a drunk driver ploughed into them recently.

The crash wrecked her car and another belonging to a neighbour, who is a carer for her elderly mother and used it to travel to her home in Stretham.

"They were both write-offs," she said.

Residents of Silver Street and Parade Lane have already handed a 50-strong signature petition calling for residents' parking to Ely East district councillor, Jackie Petts.

She fought their corner but was defeated when she and fellow members of East Cambridgeshire District Council's environment and transport committee met on Tuesday.

They were discussing providing parking permits for business people but had made no provision for residents' parking permits.

She said: "This won't give us any more parking spaces so what is the point in upsetting everybody? We don't want cars shunting around unnecessarily.

"Some of my colleagues have been against providing residents' parking because they are worried that we could open up a hornets' nest and it could be exploited.

"But there are only a finite number of spaces in Ely and residents would have to apply for the permits and pay for them.

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