Friday, January 7, 2011

The Blair Blarney on Parking

The Cambridge News reported the parking planning rule changes brought in by the new government to which the Lib Dem responsible, "told the News it was unlikely the current stated hierarchy of road users – which puts pedestrians, cyclists and public transport ahead of private motorists – would change."

A classic Blair tactic - Tony, to be clear - in not answering the question but offering a few words on one that was not asked. Nobody was suggesting the hierarchy would change; unless humans develop body armour we will always be vulnerable to vehicles.

We want to know whether the Lib Dems on the City Council will now support developments where a realistic car usage level is included or if they will continue to put their fingers in their ears and try to 'la la' the messy verges and crammed, chaotic parking associated with the new schemes, like their CB1 plan.

However, it should also be noted that the County Council fielded an officer from its less than glorious transportation department - the ones who were behind the push for congestion charging - who was quoted talking about parking charges, and not about the planning changes.


  1. I rather feel that, for once in my life, I have made the political weather and that others are responding to me.

    I think that City Cllr. Clare Blair and County appartchik Richard Preston were asked by the CEN to respond to my letter published on the 6th. January.

    This letter stated that both City and County councils should reduce their charges to ensure prosperity for traders in Cambridge.

    Clare Blair says "We will not change our priorities". Translation - we will continue to rip you off for parking.

    Richard Preston says (abridged) "the present state of local government finances means it is unlikely that they will be in a position to see this in isolation". Translation - we want more money from parking charges imposed on residents.

    Anger would be a fitting response.

  2. The letter (pity you can't read them on the CEN website):

    4th. January 2011

    Dear Sir,

    I noticed the letter today (4th. January) from Neil Mackay complaining
    about the congestion caused by roadworks in Elizabeth Way.

    Neil Mackay is, I rather imagine, the managing director of Mackay's in
    East Road - that indispensable emporium of all that we need to keep our
    houses in good order.

    But he and I are fighting an uphill battle.

    The City Council charge far too much for parking - and launder the
    profit through their property account.

    The County Council don't manage roadworks properly and have a wish to
    "manage" traffic in Cambridge by restricting on street parking within
    all areas within walking distance of the City centre.

    No wonder that Mackay's want to leave.

    Eric Pickles, for the Government, has said that councils should be open
    for business. Could our two councils agree that this is the right
    objective and actually do something to help local businesses and local
    shops ?

    Yours sincerely,

    James Strachan