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, didnâ€™t appear to make sense to Ely Online. David warned: â€˜further delays could be costly for the city and the townâ€™s gridlock traffic problem was getting worseâ€™. Surely even with an introduction of parking charges you are not going to remove the problem of traffic â€˜gridlockâ€™ 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 weekâ€™s Ely Weekly News, Philip Eden, Chair of the City Of Ely Perspective wrote an open letter titled â€˜There are solutions to parking problemsâ€™.
Philip writes: â€˜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.â€™
He continues: â€˜Congestion in the city gets worse with some junctions struggling to cope for considerable periods with vehicleâ€™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 parkingâ€™
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:
- No parking charges for now
- The pedestrianisation of High Street
- Traffic Wardens (not part-time attendents)
- Controlled Parking Zones for trouble spots
- Abolish long stay (23 hour) parking
- Park & Ride aimed at commuters & daytrippers
- 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?