MP wants to know why ‘private’ car park no longer needed by council employees was unavailable to thousands who visited Wisbech for Rose Fair

A half-full Somers Road car park.

A half-full Somers Road car park. - Credit: Archant

MP Steve Barclay is questioning why a county council owned car park - let to Fenland District Council- remained empty whilst motorists struggled to find a parking space during Rose Fair.

The rest of Somers Road car park, Wisbech

The rest of Somers Road car park, Wisbech - Credit: Archant

The parking area he has flagged up is part of the Somers Road car park and used over the years by council staff working nearby.

But as council staff have left and not been replaced the need for the spaces has dropped.

Mr Barclay said: “On Saturday the town was heaving with visitors, many of whom had driven to Wisbech, to be at the Rose Fair. The town’s car parks were full to capacity so parking spaces were at a premium.

“However, the private car park was only partially occupied with the public obviously concerned about using it without a permit.

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“Fenland council owns the parking area and I see no reason why it cannot now be incorporated properly into the Somers Road car park for everyone to use. There is no excuse for the signs to still remain. Parking is always an issue in our towns so it is important that every space is available for use by the public.”

The car park area has a sign saying it is for ‘permit holders only’. It was originally used by staff who occupied council offices in nearby Post Office Lane.

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However, staff have been re-located so the need for the car park has stopped.

The MP said he would be writing to Fenland District Council asking them to consider removing the ‘private car park’ signs and also the chain fencing which separates the area from the main car park.

A Fenland Council spokesman insisted the car park is not owned by them but by the county council “so it’s not for us to decide what to do with it.” And not all staff have been re located from the area since “we do still have staff who man the Wisbech one-stop shop there, including on Saturday mornings”.

A Cambs County Council spokesman said: “Whilst the land at the rear of the Queen Mary Centre is owned by the county council, it has been let under licence to Fenland District Council for their and their staff use and not the county council.

“The district council has recently indicated to us that they may wish to return the land to the county council and discussions as to its future use are therefore at an early stage.”

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