PAY TO PARK SHOCK: East Cambs unveils new ‘fair but equitable’ parking charges for Ely which could start next year

NEW proposals to introduce a “fair but equitable” car park charge in Ely were announced today by East Cambridgeshire District Council.

The authority’s original set of charging proposals were dramatically deferred back in March amid a public outcry but the council has spent the last eight months working on a new scheme with the City of Ely Council which was revealed this week.

Under the new scheme, the first hour of parking in the council’s car parks will be free, two hours will be 70p, three hours will be �1, 4 hours �1.50 and an all day ticket will cost �2.50. A weekly ticket will cost �5.

The council has also pledged not to raise those prices until 2015 and says a 20 per cent of any excess income generated from the pay-and-display system will be put back into the city in the form of improvements and upgrades.

The council estimates that its breakeven point will be about �315,000.

Council leader Peter Moakes said: “This will be a simple pay and display system which people are used to using up and down the country. “This isn’t a cash cow, what we are trying to do is manage car parking in a fair but equitable way.

“We believe that this system takes account of the people who pop into Ely to visit the bank or make a quick purchase which is why the first hour is free.”

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Mayor of Ely Councillor Will Burton added: “We want this to be fair and there are checks and balances in place so we can review how it is working. We have tried to come up with a fair and equitable system that works for everybody.”

The authority estimates that 2,000 ‘parking acts’ of less than an hour are made every day in the city’s car parks.

The council said that any displacement from the car parks and onto residential streets would be measured and the data presented to the county council for the possible introduction of a city-wide civil parking enforcement scheme in the future.

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