Ely: New Parking Charge Scheme

New plans to charge people to park in Ely have been published.

It is currently free to park in all but one of the city's car parks.

Earlier this year, controversial plans to make people pay to park in Ely were put on hold after around 12,000 people signed a petition against the plans.

The Ely Traders Association was also a strong opponent of the charges, with the view that charging drivers to park in Ely would put them off going there and encourage them to visit larger nearby cities like Cambridge and Peterborough instead.

Following a large number of objections to the proposals, East Cambridgeshire District Council put them on hold, and has now published a revised proposal for car parking together with the City of Ely Council.

The new proposals include plans for a free first hour of parking.

Council figures show approximately 2,000 cars a day currently park in one of the city's car parks for an hour or less, and so would not need to pay under the proposed scheme.

The Council has  pledged to use the charges to 'break even' and meet the costs of running car parks, and plough any profit into schemes 'to benefit the community'.

The proposed charges, which would be in operation seven days a week, are as follows:

Short Stay 1 hour Free
  2 hours 70p
  3 hours £1
  4 hours £1.50
Long Stay (excluding Angel Drove) All day £2.50
  Weekly Ticket £5
Evening (6pm - 8am) Free parking on all car parks (excluding Angel Drove)  

Meanwhile, East Cambridgeshire District Council has pledged to invest any excess money, left over after the costs of running car parks have been met, in the following ways:

  • Projects to benefit Ely centre
  • Considering any proposals to reduce the cost of car parking charges
  • Increasing car parking capacity in Ely
  • Investment in on and off street car parking enforcement.

The rationale from the Council for scrapping free parking is that it costs around £200,000 a year to maintain free car parks in Ely.

Also, the Council adds that it is not fair that council tax from people in parts of East Cambridgeshire who do not use the car parks is currently being put towards meeting this cost.

The Council also expects there to be a 20% increase in demand for spaces in Ely's car parks by 2026.

The proposals will be discussed at the Council's Scrutiny Committee next Tuesday (27 November).

They will then go forward for evaluation at the Council's Development and Transport Committee on the 3rd December.

There will then be a 12 week public consultation on the plans, before they are re-presented to the Council's Development and Transport Committee for approval on the 20th March 2013.

Subject to this approval, the charges would be implemented on the 1st July 2013.

You can read more about the history of proposals for car parking charges in Ely by reading the archive articles below.

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