December 7 2013 Latest news:
Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY
Monday, September 2, 2013
COUNTY councillor Alan Lay says parts of Wisbech and neighbouring villages have become a ‘car mart’ with vehicles being offered for sale on grass verges, in parking bays and even next to a village green.
Cllr Lay, who won his Roman Bank and Peckover seat in May, said he had been trying to resolve the issue for six years prior to becoming a councillor.
“Nothing has changed,” he said. “There is apathy somewhere and it needs to be addressed.”
Over 30 people have commented on the problem in recent months on community website Shape Your Place and Cllr Lay says those faced with problems outside their homes have his sympathy.
“The consensus among the people is that the selling of private vehicles should be removed from the public highways of Wisbech,” he said.
“Apart from the eye sores that it represents, there is an element of danger involved. I have seen moving vehicles slow down or brake to read the details in the car window to the alarm of the vehicle following.
“Many people gather round these cars; they step into the road to look at all four tyres. How long will be it be before someone is harmed?”
He believes both the district and county councils should act jointly to stop what he describes as “an intolerable situation. I have suggested a street traders’ licence or something similar but it falls on deliberately deaf dears.”
He has written to town, district and county councillors and local groups asking for their backing.
He said he had been pressing since 2007 “to stop this degradation of our town but then I was just one man. Now I am a councillor I hope I have a voice that will be heard.”
The county council said the issue had been investigated by the local highways team who have discussed it with the district council and Cambs Police.
A spokesman told Shape Your Place readers that “the county council has sympathy with the concerns of local people in this matter but, unfortunately, it possesses little in terms of legislative powers to provide a permanent solution.”
Cllr Lay said he had been contacted by Leverington Parish Council who was concerned that cars had been offered for sale near the common.
The parish council says the problem has been ongoing and cars have on occasions for offered for sale at the entrance to the playing field which prevented people from parking there.
Cllr Lay said the parish council had written to him promising to support “any action to alleviate the situation for our parishioners”.