In order to ensure a smooth transition for the new car parking arrangements in Ely, Council Chiefs have agreed to phase the new rules in over the next three months.
The decision was taken following feedback from the public and businesses; it also allows East Cambridgeshire District Council to focus on checking that drivers do not exceed the time limits in short stay car parks in the lead up to Christmas.
From the 10th December, the Town Centres Team will focus on the short-stay car parks to ensure that there is a regular turnover of spaces for shoppers and visitors and normal monitoring and enforcement regimes will be maintained. Then from 11th January they will extend the monitoring and enforcement activity into long stay car parks and commence a period of issuing warning notices to vehicles that do not comply with the new early morning restrictions introduced by the regulations.
This will be followed from 11th February 2008 by a fully monitored parking enforcement service, to combine with a business permit scheme, subject to the outcome of public consultation. It is at this stage that Penalty Charge Notices will be issued to vehicles that contravene the Parking Order.
Councillor John Seaman MBE, Chairman of the Environment & Transport Committee, said: â€œHaving listened to feedback from the public, we are keen to phase the new regulations in to ensure everyone knows what is expected of them. We urge those who use the public car parks to comply with the new regulations as far as is practicable during these transitional arrangements.
â€œWe also hope that local businesses will encourage their staff to reduce their reliance on the public car parks, by promoting where possible car sharing and alternative methods of travel. Our key aim in introducing the new regime is to improve accessibility to the city for those who wish to use the Cityâ€™s many and varied shops and facilities to maintain and enhance the vibrant commercial centre of Ely.â€
Penalty Charge Notices will still be issued throughout this period to drivers who park over the time limit in short stay car parks, use disabled parking bays without displaying a valid blue badge and to those who park outside marked bays or cause an obstruction.