Tesco to pay for a car park

PUBLISHED: 14:44 02 March 2006 | UPDATED: 13:17 04 May 2010

ELY is set to have a new pay-and-display car park. Plans for the facility, primarily for the users of Ely train station, were approved at a meeting of East Cambridgeshire District Council on Thursday night. Further, on-street car parking in Ely and the su

ELY is set to have a new pay-and-display car park.

Plans for the facility, primarily for the users of Ely train station, were approved at a meeting of East Cambridgeshire District Council on Thursday night.

Further, on-street car parking in Ely and the surrounding area could be decriminalised as part of the proposals, and a suitable site for the car park will now have to be found.

More short-term spaces in the city centre, at Forehill and Ship Lane car parks, are also proposed under the scheme at the expense of some long-term parking.

Cllr Brian Ashton, who put forward the proposal, welcomed the council's approval in a statement to the Ely Standard on Tuesday: "During the last year we have listened with care to what everybody has had to say and there is a significant consensus that if we can resolve the issues around railway station users, it will be a significant first step in improving access to the city."

The money for the facility comes from the Section 106 agreement between the district council and supermarket giant Tesco when the store was extended three years ago.

In total, the car park would cost some £700,000 - £300,000 from the Section 106 agreement and an additional £400,000 from council coffers.

But concerns were expressed at the meeting that the new car park was just another way of introducing a park-and-ride scheme for the city.

Cllr Derrick Beckett asked: "I feel that we are getting park-and-ride pushed in under the radar.

"It worries me that this money is going to be ring-fenced for park-and-ride."

The possibility of city residents having to have parking permits was discussed, with Cllr Fred Brown suggesting: "It's never a problem with parking, it's a problem with enforcement.

"If the police were doing the job they are supposed to be doing, we wouldn't have these worries."

Cllr Ashton said: "There is massive pressure on car parking at the moment in the centre of town."

Cllr Ian Allen added: "I think it does establish a precedent whereby people will be paying for their parking.

"Something had to be done in the vicinity of the station. I think it is good that we are going to have something to spend the 106 money on."

The council also agreed that it would create safe access for pedestrians from the site to the station, using compulsory purchase powers if necessary.

n A 106 agreement is money put aside from developers who want to put something back into the community.

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