Traders step up fight against multi-storey
THE Ely Traders Association has launched a poster campaign in a bid to derail proposals to build a multi-storey car park at Ely station. Posters have been put up in shops and businesses throughout the city to drum up popular support for the traders late
THE Ely Traders' Association has launched a poster campaign in a bid to derail proposals to build a multi-storey car park at Ely station.
Posters have been put up in shops and businesses throughout the city to drum up popular support for the traders' latest initiative, which hopes to shift the district council's focus away from plans to construct a multi-storey car park, and on to previous plans to build a car park in Angel Drove.
The move is a direct response to a report in last week's Ely Standard that East Cambridgeshire District Council is considering putting up £700,000 for the 150-space car park, including funds given to the authority by Tesco when it expanded its Angel Drove store.
The rest of the money for the multi-million pound project, if approved, may be provided by rail operator Network Rail, and the plans would also include an interchange to improve traffic conditions around the station.
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A member of the Ely Traders' Association, William Burton, said: "We keep hearing about the station car park.
"My interpretation of events is that public money will finance the car park, only for a railway company to reap the benefits in the form of inflated charges."
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Chairman of the group, Elaine Griffin-Singh, said: "We do not want the council to go back to the idea of building a car park at the station.
"In Peterborough, the parking charge at the station has gone from £5 to £10 in one fell swoop."
Mr Burton said inflated parking charges could only result in people abandoning the new car park in favour of the city's already crowded spaces.
"We are also concerned that these plans will set a precedent for charges," he said.
Chief executive of the district council, John Hill, said: "I would say to the traders that they should keep their options open at this stage, as I am.
"The important thing for all parties is to remember why we are going through this process - we are trying to create a car park primarily for users of the station and the reason for that is to draw users away from city centre car parks.
"The traders' association is probably concerned that we are throwing all our apples in one basket, but that is not the case and we are looking at various options."
Mr Hill said the multi-storey car park option is at too early a stage for him to comment on possible charges, and said he was speaking to the rail company about the future of the scheme.
"I want to secure the best option possible for Ely," he said.