Ely’s New Parking Regulations

Car parks designed to meet the needs of shoppers, visitors and commuters are on the agenda at next week’s Environment and Transport Committee.

Council Chiefs will debate changes to the car park regimes within Ely designed to ensure city centre car parks are available specifically for visitors and shoppers, while commuters get their own car park at Angel Drove. This all means an increase of approximately 200 car parking spaces across the city.

Councillor John Seaman MBE, Chairman of the Environment & Transport Committee, said: “We have to strike a careful balance between all the people who want to use the car parks in Ely. Currently the city’s car parks and streets are imbalanced with too many spaces in the city centre being taken by long stay users. This forces shoppers and visitors to have to search in vain for a free space.

“The changes which are being put forward to next week’s Environment and Transport Committee aim to tackle this problem. With the new car park at Angel Drove opening in late autumn, we have an excellent opportunity to come up with new car parking regimes in addition to having approximately 200 extra spaces which will fit the needs of our city. The goal is to free up the car parking in the centre of Ely for shoppers and visitors while preventing those who do not need such prime locations from using these car parks.

There will also be morning restrictions on Barton Road, Fisherman’s Lane, and Ship Lane in order to encourage commuters to use the new Angel Drove car park.

“By coming up with these proposals, we have opened the possibility of tackling other issues such as replacing coach parking with car parking spaces in Barton Road. In addition, there will be increased enforcement. We will not be able to please everyone but I promise the proposals decided at Committee will be put to out to public consultation for everyone to give their opinions on the plans. “

Proposed Car Parking Regulatory Regimes

There will be changes to the short stay regimes at Newnham Street and St Mary’s Street will each have a maximum stay of three hours. Forehill car park will become a short stay car park only with the longest stay being four hours. On Saturdays the Grange will also have a 3-hour time limit with unrestricted evening parking. These will all be designed to benefit the thousands of shoppers who come to Ely.

 

Car Parks & Max Times Parking Spaces Restrictions
Bray’s Lane (2 hours) 291 Short Stay No return within 2 hours
Newnham Street (3 hours) 122 short stay, 5 disabled spaces 3 hour between 8:30 and 6:00pm no return within 2 hours
St Mary’s Street (3 hours) 69 spaces, 3 disabled, 4 motorcycle 3 hour between 8:30 and 6:00pm – No return within 2 hours. Unrestricted parking at all other times
The Grange (3 hours) 90 spaces available evenings and weekends 3 hour between 8:30 and 6:00pm – no return within 2 hours
Forehill (4 hours) 270 short stay plus 6 disabled & motor homes in specified wider bays 4 hour between 8:30 and 6:00pm – no return within 2 hours. Unrestricted parking at all other times.

Proposed Morning Restrictions On Car Parks

There will also be morning restrictions on Barton Road, Fisherman’s Lane, and Ship Lane in order to encourage commuters to use the new Angel Drove car park. The new commuter car park will cost £2.50 per day and will have a park and ride service every Saturday.

 

Car Parks & Max Times Parking Spaces Restrictions
Barton Road 193 Long Stay plus 5 disabled spaces (loosing coach bays) Maximum period 90 minutes between 8:00 and 10:00am. Unrestricted parking at all other times
Hereward – Available evenings and weekends only (within Barton Road cr park) Same restrictions at weekends Maximum period 90 minutes between 8:00 and 10:00am
Newnham Street 38 long stay plus 4 disabled spaces Maximum period 90 minutes between 8:00 and 10:00am Unrestricted parking at all other times
Fishermans Lane 25 spaces Maximum period 90 minutes between 8:00 and 10:00am – Unrestricted parking at all other times
Ship Lane 99 Long Stay plus 6 disabled Maximum period 90 minutes between 8:00 and 10:00am – Unrestricted parking at all other times
Cresswells 42 long stay, 2 disabled, 6 coach, 30 large vehicles 14 Hour

New Angel Drove Car Park Charges

 

  Parking Spaces Charges
New Angel Drove Car park 188 spaces £2.50 per day, every day including weekends, free bank holidays. £11.00 per week (7 day ticket) Park and Ride Saturdays 9:30 – 5:00 for no additional charge

The public consultation for the new parking regime is provisionally scheduled to begin the week commencing 6th August over a three-week period. The final plans will be put in place during the autumn.

53 replies
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  1. Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East
    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East says:

    Hello Mr Coles,

    First of all what plans to charge for parking in Ely are you talking about? There are no plans that I am aware of. However, the Council has just sanctioned a review of all our car parking options – both charged for and free, off-street and on-street – ready for when responsibility for the latter passes over to the Council from the Police.

    I have made a note of your comments, which are very valid, and typical of the sort of issues that the review will consider.

    My recollection of previous assessments of car park provisions leads me to believe that parking will always be a burden on the tax payer whatever we do, because charging a realistic fee in a town as small as Ely will probably not even cover running costs.

    However, with the prospect of us soon to be taking over control of on-street parking as well as car parks, there is hope that the review team with come up with some alternative options that will benefit trade and serve the best interests of residents, shoppers and visitors.

    Perhaps status quo will be recommended, or maybe a mixture of free and charged for spaces to encourage greater use of less popular car parks.

    If anyone out there has the perfect solution – now is the time to let us know.

    Jackie Petts
    District Councillor, Ely East
    Member, Environment & Transport Committee

  2. P Coles
    P Coles says:

    Now i read that free parking in Ely is to end. does this mean that the shop worker will have to pay to park like the shopper, vistors and the poeple who live in ely. this will kill the town centre shops off and make ely a ghost town because a lot of people will shop at tesco because its free to park or shop in other towns where the supermarkets have large free parking. i hope this council will have some idea on what to do with all the empty shops’ i know turn then in to more car parks or ugly sites for people to complain about.

  3. P Coles
    P Coles says:

    I see the Car park saga has started again. but still people who live in ely are still waiting for permits to park like workers in ely have. But now the council are talking about ever car park to be a pay to park. this will stop people coming in to ely to shop when they can park at tescos for free in ely or cambridge or newmarket. this is the start of killing of the town centre of ely soon we will have a ghost town centre. If this council took note of the people of ely and the shop keeper this would be thrown out now. i for one will stop coming to ely for shopping in the town when i can shop in cambridge or newmarket where there are still some free parking if this councils goes ahead with this mad idea of PAY TO PARK.

  4. Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East
    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East says:

    The problems faced by Ely residents was the reason we hoped to remove the early morning restrictions for long stay car parks on Saturdays. However, when Officers pointed out the enormous cost of making this simple amendment to the law and the time required – at least six months, we had to acknowledge that it would be a futile gesture. The committee had to take into account imminent changes to the whole parking regime which will be made possible once the District Council gets control of on-street parking. At the moment this is the responsibility of the Police and we can do nothing about it.

    Jackie Petts
    District Councillor, Ely East
    Member Environment and Transport Committee

  5. Karl Bedingfield
    Karl Bedingfield says:

    Apparently, the democratic team had a note how the voting went on each of the separate recommendations but because no member asked for a recorded vote there is no information on how individual Councillors voted.

    This is how the vote went though:

    CAR PARKING REGULATIONS

    The Committee considered a report, reference H265, previously circulated, which outlined further amendments to the car park regulations.

    It was resolved:

    (i) That an increase in Business Permits as set out in Para 4.2 be agreed with a further review in 12 months: UNANIMOUS.

    (ii) That the inclusion of all Ely business rate payers to the eligibility criteria for business permits be agreed: UNANIMOUS.

    (iii) That the implementation of free Saturday parking at Angel Drove car park on cessation of Park and Ride service be agreed: 6 FOR – 3 AGAINST.

    (iv) That existing Saturday early morning restrictions for long stay car parks be retained: 6 FOR – 0 AGAINST – 3 ABSENTIONS.

    (v) That changes to accommodate parking of market trader vehicles as set out in Para 4.6 and implementation of a Market Trader permit scheme be agreed: UNANIMOUS.

    It seems obvious to me that it didn’t even cross their minds that the new regulations would discriminate residents of Ely as it wasn’t even on the voting agenda.

  6. J Chapman
    J Chapman says:

    P Coles , please don’t let this ongoing parking debate become a commuters versus residents issue…you will only let our arrogant councillors off the hook and allow them to finger point, blame and jump from one side of the fence to the other as usual.

    The issue is that there is no clear thoughts or “fair” policies for residents or commuters.

    As a commuter I am also a taxpayer to the same council as the residents of Ely.
    Ely is my local town and train station, the costs for the “Commuter/Park and Ride” car park is unjust and is a blatant rip off of people who have to commute to work.

    The “I’m alright Jack” attitude of free staff parking at the council offices should be stopped. Perhaps this “perk” should be taxed at the same rate as it costs other people to park get to work.

  7. P. Coles
    P. Coles says:

    Well, the time is coming for the people of Ely to show the councillors what we think of the help they have given us on this parking for commuting workers but not for people who have to keep moving there cars because of these unfair rules that say if you work in this city you can park for free any time but if you live in the City you can’t park at anytime.

    Make your vote count on June 4th!

  8. Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East
    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East says:

    My apologies, I thought Newmarket station had been closed years ago, but it still exists with not a bad service to Cambridge, London, Peterborough, etc, so I am surprised that people from there use Ely so frequently. I gather from checking on the Internet that pre-booking is essential because it is unstaffed and there are no ticket machines. Parking is free at the station. Let’s spread the word!!

  9. Peter Cousins
    Peter Cousins says:

    Just a short note,

    Firstly, I think you’ll find Newmarket does have a train station.

    Secondly, yes, they do charge for parking in Newmarket, but I don’t begrudge paying 30p for 2hrs etc. up to a maximum of £2.30 for all day.

  10. Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East
    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East says:

    I should think it will be swings and roundabouts. They will gain from people visiting them who are parked elsewhere. The Aldi car park will not be substantial. I am told that shopkeepers generally welcome competition that is close by if it increases footfall past them, so other Ely shops should gain too.

    The Aldi planning application could not be legally refused anyway. Ely is vulnerable all the time we do not have a legally ratified plan.

  11. Karl Bedingfield
    Karl Bedingfield says:

    Aldi will be very close to Market Place with pedestrian access from The Vineyards, so it will bring people into town, I think.

    So are you saying Aldi will be supplying a substantial short-stay car-park? I can’t see them being best pleased if their patrons car-park is used as short stay while people walk uptown.

  12. Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East
    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East says:

    Re comments from P. Coles and Karl Bedingfield – I am the one Councillor who is lobbying for parking permits for residents. We will get them I hope when the District Council takes over control of on-street parking from the Police. (see previous entries about this).

    Regarding new, bigger and better shops. Yes we want them – but not where they will blight the City for the next fifty years. Ely is small, we are running out of space, and mistakes have a hugh impact.

    The new Aldi store is not ideally positioned, but until we get the Local Development Framework ratified and with it the Master Plan for Ely, we can only fight off opportunistic development with planning law. Aldi will be very close to Market Place with pedestrian access from The Vineyards, so it will bring people into town, I think. I do not believe it is the sort of shop that sells everything one needs on a weekly basis.

    Proposals for the future development of Ely were on display at The Lamb Hotel in Ely last week and you can see them on the Council website at the moment and make your comments. These ideas have come from the public, not the Council, and will be used to produce a draft document for further public consultation. You will see that there are some brilliant ideas for the station area and riverside.

    Ely Masterplan Information

    Jackie Petts
    District Councillor
    Ely East

  13. Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East
    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East says:

    Re Peter Cousin’s comments: Newmarket does not have a railway station and therefore has no commuter parking problem, neither is parking free in that town. However commuters bound for London from Newmarket drive to Ely station and park their cars here. Is it reasonable that we should not charge them?

    Parking in Ely City Centre is free by overwhelming public demand. Does he want this changed?

    In answer to his questions about me I most certainly face the same sort of pressures as every other working person and collect more than my fair share of parking fines – especially in Cambridge where I regularly need to park in the city centre, to make deliveries.

    Being self-employed, I am fortunate enough to work from home, but I have done my fair share of commuting in the past. It’s horrible and I have every sympathy for people who have to do it on a daily basis. Wouldn’t it great if we could bring the jobs here?

    Living in Prickwillow as I do, the new parking rules allow me to park in Ely and shop, something that had become almost impossible. I did and still do cycle if I have the time and the weather’s decent, but not to shop, but I must confess to never having used the Park and Ride. I do use Angel Drove when taking the train, usually to London for the day on business.

    Jackie Petts
    District Councillor, Ely East

  14. Karl Bedingfield
    Karl Bedingfield says:

    we want the new stores, not only tesco but the other supermarkets that keep trying to come here.

    I tend to agree with this. How can our council agree to have an Aldi situated out-of-town (Lisle Lane) and refuse Lidl because it is out-of-town?

    Do the councillor’s seriously think shoppers are going to walk to Aldi to do their weekly shop?

    They will do what they they currently do – park in Brays Lane – do all the quick in City shopping – maybe go to Waitrose – leaves Brays Lane and drive to Tesco. All done in a car!

    Nothing will change.

    My parents no longer shop in Ely. They alternate their weekly shop with trips to Kings Lynn, Huntingdon, Cambridge and Newmarket.

  15. P. Coles
    P. Coles says:

    1) I would just like to know when this council is going to give out residents parking permits?

    2) People who want to come to the City before this 8:30am parking rule should be able to come on a saturday to shop. Well I used come, but now I shop at Tesco then come to town for anything else i need after this parking rule.

    3) When are the councillor’s going to listen to the people of this great City – we want the new stores, not only tesco but the other supermarkets that keep trying to come here……..

  16. Peter Cousins
    Peter Cousins says:

    Ok, ok, so you don’t like commuters or anyone who travels to get to work.

    I take it you live in Ely? Do you walk to work? How do you travel Cllr Petts and where do you park?

    I’d like to know how these new rules which you impose affect you and your life. Do you ever use the Park and Ride?

    Many thanks.

    I’ll check for your response when I return from using Newmarket’s highly commendable parking scheme.

    Talking of which, Newmarket don’t seem to have many congestion/parking problems, strange that. Maybe you could take a leaf out of their book.

  17. Peter Cousins
    Peter Cousins says:

    Flip-flopping – Councillor Petts?? Surely not! Ms Petts wouldn’t show a complete lack of professionalism or knowledge of everyday life – I’m sure you wouldn’t find any examples on this discussion board! Or anywhere else our beloved local councillor decides to flaunt her opinion for that matter.

  18. Sarah Marshal
    Sarah Marshal says:

    Sounds to me Councillor like you are flip-flopping to win favour!

    ‘plans to introduce charges in existing City Centre car parks’

    ‘on-street parking charges for visitors and residents would seem inevitable’

  19. Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East
    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East says:

    The Council has no plans to introduce charges in existing City Centre car parks, there is a strong traders lobby against this. Thousands of signatures calling for the maintenance of free parking a few years ago set the Council on the path it is now taking. Residents are paying the price with personal inconvenience.

    If and when East Cambs gets control of on-street parking and the right to provide on-street parking for residents, we shall be faced with the problem of how to pay for policing and administration. I don’t see how that can be financed by fines alone and on-street parking charges for visitors and residents would seem inevitable. However, I have heard the view expressed that a small town such as ours would find it impossible to cover the whole cost from fines and charges and that parking would always be a burden on the tax payer.

    Charging is not something that I would like to see at a time when traders are struggling to keep their heads above water. Any suggestions – apart from asking everyone to stick to the rules voluntarily?

    Jackie Petts
    District Councillor, Ely East

  20. Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East
    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East says:

    The new Angel Drove car park has been successful more quickly than we expected and it was two thirds full with commuter cars in no time. It could be 100 per cent full (almost) if we could solve the problem of commuters parking on-street outside houses and in lorry lay-byes. We hope to get control of on-street parking quite soon.

    The effect of the new car park has been very beneficial for high Street trade and it is undoubtedly much easier for shoppers to park if they avoid always opting for Waitrose. You can park for four hours in Broad Street, for instance, and all day from 8:31 in the long-stays.

    The Park and Ride bus from Angel Drove is not appealing. The nearest safe place for the bus to stop is at Tescos making it far less user-friendly than the successful Downham Road P&R.

    The Angel Drove facility was built to free up the city centre from commuters and is sited as near to the station as practical short of blowing up Tescos – the positioning of the latter being a brilliant example of lack of long-term Master Planning!

    Jackie Petts
    District Councillor, Ely East

  21. Karl Bedingfield
    Karl Bedingfield says:

    Here is what Mr. Coles was commenting on:

    East Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats are calling for a stay of execution for Ely’s Angel Drove Park and Ride.

    They want to give the service another chance to see if it can be successful by offering free parking on Saturday, good signage and with the bus pulling into the car park to pick up passengers instead of collecting from Tesco.

    The Tories plan to axe the service in June because they claim low take up by passengers has meant it is not viable to continue.

    But Lib Dems believe the service is essential to keep cars out of Ely city centre and allow businesses to grow and they are calling for it to be given a nine month trial from June.

    On Tuesday they will put their idea before East Cambridgeshire District Council members as they meet to set next year’s budget.

    The group will be asking for £12,000 to be made available in the budget for the trial. The money could come from the unexpected increase in the Local Authority Business Growth Incentive Grant of £39,000, they claim.

    East Cambridgeshire Lib Dem group leader, Haddenham councillor Gareth Wilson said: “A really effective park and ride scheme, keeping cars out of the city centre and directing shoppers to the centre rather than Tesco, would be a useful way to grow Ely businesses. If it proves successful then everyone will see the benefit of keeping it.

    “We have to take action to rid Ely city centre of cars while at the same time offering people easy access. I don’t believe we have given this Park and Ride a fair chance and there is money available to find out whether it could work and prove a long-term solution.”

  22. P. Coles
    P. Coles says:

    I see from the local rag that the park and ride is going to get another chance to lose this council more money after all the money squandered having the park and ride built. The park and ride has failed (low passengers) and should be closed – waste of money!

    This council can’t make up it’s mind on parking permits for local people who have to keep moving thier cars because of these mad parking rules.

    Dear councillors pull your fingers out before you lost your job on the council all will be remembered.

    Ed: The Tories plan to axe the service in June because they claim low take up by passengers has meant it is not viable to continue.

  23. Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East
    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East says:

    I was sorry to hear that Mr Allebone got caught by the rules designed to free our long-stay car parks from filling up with commuters bound for Cambridge and London. The Council very much values the trade that river users bring to the City and I shall see what can be done about raising awareness for early visitors. Generally speaking it is not a big problem for ordinary shoppers.

    The new rules restrict parking in Long Stay car parks to 90 min between 8:00 – 10:00 each morning from Monday to Saturday. This is the time that most commuters set off from the station and is an easily policed time slot for City Rangers. Visitors arriving at 8:31 in a long stay car park can stay free of charge for the rest of the day.

    Earlier commentators bewailing the cost of building the new car park on Angel Drove seem to have overlooked the value of the land.

    Also, it is only city workers who need to come into Ely before 8:30 who are entitled to purchase a permit exempting them from the new rules.

    Residents who leave the City before 8:30 are the worst affected by the new rules as they can no longer leave their cars behind without making special arrangements, parking on-street, or paying to park in Angel Drove. We are very hopeful that this problem will be resolved fairly soon, when the District Council wins the right to manage on-street parking, currently the responsibility of the police.

    Jackie Petts
    District Councillor, Ely East

  24. Mr A  C Allebone
    Mr A C Allebone says:

    As a regular user of the river, I launch my boat from the public slipway located at the Quayside, Ely. Of which I have a trailer and car to park. As I like to launch early in the morning I have to parked in the car park located closest to the Quayside which is the Ship Lane car park. I am not a shopper or worker, but a visitor to the city and I recieve a parking ticket as I parked what I thought was a long stay car park and is listed as long stay car park on the internet. I have now been informed that there are parking restrictions as long stay parking is only permitted after 10am.

    Not exactly welcoming for any weekday visitor is it ?

  25. P Coles
    P Coles says:

    This is the only Town or City that I know gives shop workers parking permits and residents parking tickets! Most councils give residents parking permits. We pay our council taxes, give us (residents) and the workers a permit!!!

    Last Thursday – being market day – the number of spaces in the Barton road car park empty would surprise you, this is because people will not come in to park because of the thought of getting a £30 ticket, its time this council was given it’s orders to march.

  26. J Chapman
    J Chapman says:

    I have just received an application form from ECDC for an annual parking season ticket…what passes for brains with these people? although I think from the comments of Cllr Petts the answer is very little.

    The Council have spent £1 million of “our” money “building” a car park, that in itself is absolutely ridiculous,is it gold plated? is it multi-story? is it undercover? NO but then they to try and cynically pass it off as Park and Ride, THIS IS ELY FOR GOODNESS SAKE NOT CAMBRIDGE, as it is you have to walk halfway to town to get the bloomin’ bus and it only operates on a Saturday!!!

    Let’s hear the truth, they built a car park to try and cash in on the commuters (commuters are taxpayers by the way) then they cynically set the price at ~70% of the already ridiculously high rip-off charges of the train car-park operator (nothing to do with the rip-off rail company); then they don’t have the brains to think of offering a season ticket until petitioned by users, AND NOW instead of offering the price at the ~70% rate, (the rip off merchants charge £527pa, by the way) this shower of a council want £506pa !!!! It’s not even the most convenient of car parks, it has no direct path to the train station, it’s a route march along a busy stretch of road, across a busy junction between 2 roundabouts and then across Tesco car park. GET A GRIP …The price should be at the very worst £370pa at your already ridiculously over-inflated prices , change this now.

  27. Liz
    Liz says:

    I use Barton Road a lot and what worries me most about the new regulations is because they have no ticket machines there is no way of proving how long you have been in the car park if you get a parking ticket (of which I have seen a *lot* of on cars in the evenings). It’s just your word against theirs and I’m assuming they are going to believe the ticketing agents over the motorist.

    They should just get on with it and charge for parking like everywhere else in the country and build a multi-story car park at one of the car parks. In Newmarket the first 30 mins is free and then it’s 30p for 2 hours – just do the same in Ely.

    I also think they should let the residents have parking permits. The current council stance is disgusting. They have been outrageous making light of and ignoring the view of the reisdents who pay for their wages. Also they should let the workers have a cut price parking permit, which is common practice everywhere else.

  28. P Coles
    P Coles says:

    I do not think people would mind a small charge for a parking permit to park all day long on Barton road, the alternative would be to dig up all car parks in the City area of Ely and build more houses so more cars can block the roads in the city to bring traffic to a stand still.

    Why should workers that do not pay any tax towards Ely’s upkeep get FREE parking? The council members should come out of their little glass offices an talk to the people! We cannot wait 6 months to see if the council will change it’s small mind about parking permits for local people…

    I CALL ON ALL PEOPLE IN SILVER STREET AND PARADE LANE ON SUNDAY FEB 3RD TO PARK OUTSIDE THEIR HOUSE IN THE ROAD TO SHOW WHAT HAPPENS!

  29. Tommy
    Tommy says:

    Our tax paid money has brought this car park!!!!!!! That’s all I have to say. Get some young minded people in the council with new ideas!

  30. Helen Wright
    Helen Wright says:

    While I think that all comments made have some validity. Lets remember, when ever you enter of town/city, wherever it may be, you will be making use of their facilities. No council can provide these facilities totally free of charge, all of the time. The local tax payers of Ely are paying a small fortune for the opportunity to live in Ely and provide an environment suitable for all. I have noticed (as a new resident) that most car parks are free, we don’t have to pay to use the loos (which are always beautifully clean, the streets are always free from rubbish, you even get free fresh black bags ready for the next weeks collection and down by the waterfront – I can see that a lot of work goes into keeping this nice for visitors to make use of – FREE OF CHARGE. I think that we should step back a bit, stop moaning about having to pay a small charge for the privilege of parking. Some towns/cities charge stupid inflated prices for parking, cambridge for example. May be more effort would be better spent being grateful for what we have got, rather than moaning about it.

  31. Annie Gray
    Annie Gray says:

    I think that Peter Cousins’ last remark is one which deserves more attention. While the ongoing debate on parking charges rumbles on, much of the congestion is caused by people living on the outskirts of Ely who could quite easily cycle or walk in (thereby helping their health at the same time). Most of the new houses currently built have one or two off road parking spaces (which does not stop on-road parking in the least) and therefore ample space to leave their cars and no real need to drive into the city centre. More could potentially be done to encourage wise car-use – the carrot rather than the stick as it were. For example cycle lanes and off-road routes around the dangerous points (the Gallery/Silver Street spring to mind) would help. I do not think Ely is too crowded, as long as any further expansion happens in line with infrastructure changes as required. It would be a shame if it were to lose its distinctive character as a small town (hello starbucks), so I am supportive of anything which encourages new – independent – businesses to flourish in what remains an attractive city centre. As Cllr. Petts remarks, there will always be those who are unhappy, but that’s life.

  32. Peter Cousins
    Peter Cousins says:

    I’m just a little disappointed that the professional people who we vote for and employ to be spokespeople for the publics interests, can only debate very childishly as displayed on this message board. I have not heard anyone as yet in support of the new parking regulations. Therefore are the council there to support the public opinion or their own single minded schemes? I have nothing against a council trying to do the best for their constituency, but if the constituency aren’t happy with what their councillors are doing, then what are they there for? Now obviously, a simple message board on a city website doesn’t give a detailed overview of public opinion, but I’d like to see how many people – Ely citizens or otherwise – are happy with these decisions. Basically my original point was that I am now driving to Cambridge to commute instead of using services in Ely. It’s no major inconvenience to me, but if I, one commuter from Soham, is doing that, then how many other people are now ignoring public transport and Ely? One moment pollution and saving the world is everyone’s responsibility, next, Ely’s too crowded for the next lot of houses we’re building, so forget the last thing everyone’s money went into, we need to make sure there’s enough parking for everyone in Ely who could reasonably cycle or walk into the centre.

  33. Karl Bedingfield
    Karl Bedingfield says:

    Personally, I think the people who came up with the parking regulations forgot to consider the impact the morning parking restrictions would have on house owners who do not have a without a drive-way or lock-up.

    Remember this is the same Council that are up in arms about the proposed development at Mereham but I don’t recall the same condemnation about the 1000’s of houses that now clog the outskirts of Ely adding to the congestion we are now discussing.

    Unfortunately it is always too little, too late with ECDC.

  34. P Coles
    P Coles says:

    Yes her tongue-in-cheek was noted but this does not help the matter of the parking, how would you like to have to keep getting up after a long night-shift to keep moving your car so to comply with these new regulations on parking? Why we cannot be given permits to park as office or shop workers can I do not understand.

    Come on think about other people!

  35. P Coles
    P Coles says:

    I think you are getting very stupid Cllr. by saying we will give free tea, coffee and buns to people parking in the city. Its the poor people of Parade lane and Silver street who have nowhere to park other that the Broad street car-park, so help should given to then, after all it’s the people that live in the City who spend money in the shops all the year round and not just on one day visit to Ely!

  36. Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East
    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East says:

    OK you win. Commuters are good for Ely and we should provide free parking in the City Centre for all of you along with free tea, coffee and buns.

    Then would you vote for me?

    Jackie Petts.

  37. Peter Cousins
    Peter Cousins says:

    OK, firstly, using your words: ‘It is the Council’s ambition to encourage business and commercial growth locally (including Soham) and reduce the need for residents to commute’, if you can find me a decent job – in Soham – that isn’t at a take away – please let me know.

    Can I just remind you, that everyone pays council tax, so that should not come into your argument – Whether you work in Ely, Cambridge or Soham, it doesn’t matter.

    Ely has been encouraged to be a commuter city.

    Also, your comment to Mr Bignell: firstly well done for spending £1millon pounds of our money, you haven’t actually provided anything seeing that everyone has to spend £2.50 per day to park (therefore we’re paying for it over the top of council tax). Also, You DONT charge half of what the railway charges. They charge 3.50 per day. £2.50 is a little bit more than half of £3.50 if you hadn’t noticed.

    I’m looking forward to see how full these car parks are going to to become after taking all the commuters out of them, I suppose they will be the next target for housing!!! I’m sure that Ely market isn’t soooooo popular that all car parks will be full.

    I tried to park in the new car park the other day, but I couldn’t find the way in, so instead, i did park and ride at cambridge – much easier.

    Seriously, I used to do a lot of shopping in Ely after work, I’ll be more inclined now to stay in Cambridge.

    You seem very confident that the new arrangements are going be popular – unfortuately, I haven’t seen anyone, reply on here to back you up – yet…..

  38. P Coles
    P Coles says:

    I have just been to Ely the new car park on Angel drove, there are no signs, so how are people to know about it? Also what about the car owners who live in Parade lane which do not have room to park in front of their houses, will they be getting permits to park on Barton road car park or will they have to get up and move it to another car park. What about the small car park set aside for Hereward housing why not remove the barrier so anybody can use it?

  39. Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East
    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East says:

    Mr Bignell,

    The District Council is not ignoring commuters. We have just spent £1 million of taxpayers money on providing you with a car park just four minutes walk from the station. It has plenty of spaces and you pay half what the railway charges in their car park- just £2.50.

    No Council in the land would give you this £1million pound car park for free.

    As for development. We have been required by law to build more and more homes. Ely has grown by 33% in the last few years. The town has also been a political football for the last 8 years and every attempt to solve the lack of suitable employment for newcomers has been thwarted by politically motivated factions.

    Now at least things are being allowed to happen. The new Council has only been operating since May. Our first priority is to let in the businesses, retail outlets, shoppers and visitors that are itching to come here.

    We must unclog the city centre to help this happen.

    I do not blame you for being upset about your personal inconvenience, but you should try and look at the whole picture and not just how it affects you. The truth is there is no affordable land for more parking in the City Centre and the Government is making things even worse by insisting that we grant planning permission to new developments with no parking provision.

    By the way, people who can’t afford to buy cars may not be your problem, but if they pay Council Tax, you are most certainly a burden to them.

    May I wish you a happy and prosperous new year.

    Jackie Petts

  40. Martin Bignell
    Martin Bignell says:

    Cllr Petts – what a daft response!
    Ely is a regional city and by virtue of its position on the rail network, a regional transport hub not only for the residents of Ely, but the surrounding villages.

    I no longer live in the area, but used to commute to London from Wicken via Ely on a daily basis.

    Like Peter Cousins point, it was actually cost neutral to drive and take the tube from Epping as it was the train all the way. While the parking charges are nominal, it all adds up, particularly with constant increases in rail fares.

    As I came into Ely every day, I shopped in Tesco, I did late night shopping in town and met friends (also commuters) in Ely’s restaurants. I assume that you’d prefer other people like me to have avoided Ely altogether and spent my money elsewhere??

    Ely could really benefit from realising the value of commuters by recognising the importance of its position and the hub function it has for many (try parking at the station after 7am..), but it will never do so as long as councillors simply see non-Ely residents who use its facilities as a problem.

    Of course we should aim to encourage enterprise to the area, but likewise Ely’s elected leaders need to understand that the shape and drivers of society have changed with increased wealth, opportunity and personal mobility. The argument about sustainability you hinted at isn’t helped by discouraging people from making ‘good choices’ (to commute by train) just because it imports a few localised problems you’d rather not be hassled with. If the council didn’t want that, why bother granting planning permission to all the new houses around the city – the vast majority of which I’d imagine are owned by people who commute to Cambridge, London or elsewhere.

    You talk about contributing to the wealth of the city. A huge amount of wealth passes through Ely’s railway station on a daily basis. If these people can’t be tempted to work in the city, the city would do much better trying to encourage them to spend their money on goods and services the city can offer (before 8am and after 6pm….) than simply getting a few quid from parking fees. Think of it this way – people moan at £2 to park all day, but give no thought whatsoever to handing over much more than that for a coffee, muffin and newspaper every morning…

    Besides, parking for young people who cannot afford a car is not really a problem is it??? And people who live in Ely really should walk or cycle – its not that big a place!!!

  41. Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East
    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East says:

    How does your spending £1000.00 a year on train tickets help Ely?

    Why should East Cambridgeshire tax payers subsidise your commute to Cambridge to work and spend your money?

    It is the Council’s ambition to encourage business and commercial growth locally (including Soham) and reduce the need for residents to commute. We have to start somewhere and helping local traders and not a private rail company is an obvious way forward. We must not allow our towns to become mere dormitories for Cambridge and London.

    Pleas from commuters that they cannot afford the charges at the new car park don’t wash with me. There are young people living and working in Ely who can’t even afford to insure a car let alone own one. They pay Council Tax too and they contribute to the wealth of the City.

    Cllr Jackie Petts, Ely East

  42. Peter Cousins
    Peter Cousins says:

    I live in Soham, and work in Cambridge.
    For the past 3 or 4 months I have been driving to Ely, parking in Barton Road car park, walking to the train station and getting a train to Cambridge. I suppose I am part of ‘the problem’ these charges are trying to resolve.

    So, to ‘relieve congestion in Ely’ a commuter car park has been made available out of the inner-city and next to the train station – brilliant! Ideal. But why charge? If the problem is that there are too many cars in the centre of Ely, the new car park is ideal. But it seems that what is actually happening is that ECDC has seen another way to drain some money out of us – another money making scheme. I currently pay around £20 a week (£900ish per year taking into account holidays) in train tickets to get to work (plus car travel to ely – as there is one bus per hour from soham to ely – if you’re lucky). I cannot justify paying £11 per week (£500 per yr), just to park.

    For these reasons, I shall now have to go back to the way I used to get to work – driving to Cambridge, and using park and ride – it’s not very convenient, but it costs around the same as getting the train used to before these parking charges. So, I shall be another car back on the road, congesting the A14!
    So much for wanting to increase the use of public transport!

    So overall, Ely will lose out around £1000 from me alone. I wonder how many others will be moving their custom away from Ely.
    Ely’s loss is Cambridge’s gain!

  43. ed
    ed says:

    I think these parking changes are absolutely stupid and will force commuters to fill up the residential streets nearer the station. I think the council need to realise that not everyone just sits around shuffling papers and coming up with moronic ideas, some people actually have to do worthwhile jobs for a living and have to commute.

    Charging for parking on top of the increasing cost of rail travel will mean more people driving to work in Cambridge, clogging up the already jammed A10 and A14, causing additional morning chaos and pumping plenty more emissions into the atmosphere thus ending the world just a little bit quicker.

    When will the council wake up and realise that the constant stream of ridiculous ideas spewing from their offices are not needed and will according to my logic, lead to the end of the world!

  44. scott
    scott says:

    what about us workers who have to park all day and dont have time to move our cars, as for paying to park it is just more money which we dont have. It will not work and people will not come to Ely and shop they will go to bigger places like Cambridge. Little shops will have to close down. It is not what Ely need why waist money on this walke up and get in the real world before it is to late…….

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