Ely Parking Charge Decision Deferred

Image: Ely Parking Charges

The much anticipated decision by East Cambs District Councillors whether Ely shoppers and visitors will soon have to pay to pay to park has been deferred. No doubt the 10,000 strong petition and mass protest in the High Street on Saturday 24th September aroused the councillors vexation but it seems inevitable that ECDC will push ahead with the unpopular proposal.
William Burton, of Ely Trader’s Association, said disenchantingly: ‘In their minds the committee have made their decision. They can see the revenue that will follow and this alone will inform their decision.”

One positive outcome of the media covering the unpopular proposal for parking charges in Ely is ECDC conceding a place on the working party for a member of ETA. This will allow the ETA to have their say.

Surely even with an introduction of parking charges you are not going to remove the problem of traffic ‘gridlock’ in the city

One sound-bite from the environment and transport planning director, David Archer, didn’t appear to make sense to Ely Online. David warned: ‘further delays could be costly for the city and the town’s gridlock traffic problem was getting worse’. Surely even with an introduction of parking charges you are not going to remove the problem of traffic ‘gridlock’ in the city, are you? If you cannot find a space to park, be it free or chargeable, you are still going to circle the area to find a parking bay. That will always happen as it does in any area that has parking spaces.

In this week’s Ely Weekly News, Philip Eden, Chair of the City Of Ely Perspective wrote an open letter titled ‘There are solutions to parking problems’.

Philip writes: ‘Our car parks are already full to capacity on many days, even on the quieter days the long stay car parks are full of vehicles belonging to commuters and those working in Ely well before 8.30am. Cars circulate around the short stay car parks searching for a space often in vain.’

He continues: ‘Congestion in the city gets worse with some junctions struggling to cope for considerable periods with vehicle’s searching for parking spilling over. Visitors including locals who want to stay in excess of two or three hours are unable to do so in the absence of medium stay car parking’

Valid points indeed and points that Ely Online raised in our article: The Friday Focus: Parking Charges For Ely. Ely Online suggested the following could be achieved without the need for parking charges:

  1. No parking charges for now
  2. The pedestrianisation of High Street
  3. Traffic Wardens (not part-time attendents)
  4. Controlled Parking Zones for trouble spots
  5. Abolish long stay (23 hour) parking
  6. Park & Ride aimed at commuters & daytrippers
  7. Better access to parking locations for visitors

This would remove the stated problem of ‘long stay car parks are full of vehicles belonging to commuters and those working in Ely’. It’s already been stated that gridlock in unavoidable, just look at Cambridge, you pay high prices parking but everyday you have gridlock. Are we to apply a congestion charge?

3 replies
  1. Burton
    Burton says:

    If they want to make people start using buses and trains as transport instead of taking their cars into the city, they really need to improve the public transport system. Fining people more is only going to make people angry.

  2. Kevin Draper
    Kevin Draper says:

    The problem is getting people to go on the buses. There is a reasonable bus service at present (granted most buses don’t run every hour) but I honestly think Ely isn’t a big enough city to accommodate a fully integrated public transport system.
    Look at Cambridge, it has an extensive public transport system but you can be sure that at peak times all the multi-story car parks will be full with a steady line of cars awaiting entry.

    Personally I think ECDC’s proposal is ill advised. A park-and-ride system does make sense but charging for central parking is just wrong.

    When I shop in Cambridge I now avoid the centre as much as possible – parking used to be as low in Cambridge as the ECDC propose for Ely but over the years it has now risen to £2.80 for 2 hours and park and ride just does not appeal to me. There is everything I need in Newmarket Road where all the major sheds are located and of course parking is free.

  3. Ollie Cox
    Ollie Cox says:

    Surely the gridlock problem arises in part from a total lack of public transport within Ely.

    The housing has spread out from the centre in recent years with no method other than private cars of getting to the centre. And people wonder why the city centre is dying.

    Look at other parts of the world. Similar sized cities in Canada run free local buses – becuase it helps the city to work!

    It’s not pie-in-the-sky it really works. The recent Danish study on how much people spend in shops should be an eye-opener for local traders: those people who travelled to the shops by public transport spent much more than those than came by car.

    The cost of providing such buses would be more than covered by the savings to the community; the shops would get more money; there would be less polution; there would be no gridlock; children could get to and from school safely; older people (and we’ll all be old one day) can get around; mums with kids (and we were all kids once) can get around.

    What’s the problem?

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