The Greatest Sia
14 June 2011, 13:37
Almost 3,00 people have signed a petition against the potential introduction of parking charges in Ely.
At the moment it is free to park in car parks in the city, but East Cambridgeshire District Council says it is looking into proposals to charge drivers "to tackle the continued growth in demand for car parking spaces in Ely".
However, local traders and residents are concerned about the impact that charging people to park in the city may have.
The Ely Traders Association has launched a petition [pictured - top right] against the possibility of car park charges, and in under a week almost 3,000 people have signed it.
Concerned residents and traders are also using Facebook to spread their campaign's message.
Andrew Olley, from the Ely Traders Association said: "People are saying that being able to park for free in Ely is very high on their list of priorities.
I believe that the fact we have lots of lovely, independent shops is due to having free car parks.
The level of support against parking charges in Ely is amazing."
There are concerns that forcing people to pay to park in Ely will drive them to nearby cities with more shops, like Cambridge and Peterborough.
East Cambridgeshire District Council adds that it costs more than £400,000 a year to run free car parks, and "there has been no decision taken on any level of charging in car parks or method of payment.
Any discussions would be made in through the relevant committees in the forthcoming months."
Members of the Ely Traders Assocation will present their petition to East Cambridgeshire District Council later this month.