Despite there being just one car parked there at lunchtime today, Fenland District Council insists the 112-space car park at Manea has been built to service the area “as it grows over coming decades”.
The £1.1m car park is now in its third week and today the council issued a press statement urging passengers to “enjoy the benefits of the new Manea Railway Station car park.
My new 'hobby' of guess the cars in the car park competition. This the £1.1m 112 space car park at Manea. Middle of the day. Today. ONE car. Repeat ONE car. Why why why did @FenlandCouncil think this was a good idea? A scandalous @Conservatives waste of our money pic.twitter.com/GRpTalpH7A
— John Elworthy (@johnelworthy) August 21, 2023
“The free Fenland District Council car park opened earlier this month and is intended to be big enough to serve the station and area as it grows over coming decades”.
Cllr Chris Seaton, portfolio holder for transport, said: “People can now park at Manea station free-of-charge and travel to destinations near and far – not only Cambridge, Ely, and Peterborough but on to the wider country.
“This car park is not only a huge asset for now, but also very much an investment into the future vitality of Fenland.
“We have very intentionally created enough parking capacity to exceed current use of Manea station – a long term vision we have consistently expressed during the years of work it has taken to secure the land, funding, and infrastructure for the car park.
“Manea station car park is part of a long-term strategy to create demand for increased and improved rail services for Fenland to support the council’s ambitions for housing and economic growth and improved prosperity in the district.
“Before the station had a car park it was not feasible to promote use of it beyond those few people who could easily walk to it or get there by other connecting public transport. Now the station is very much open for use to people from a wider area.
“We know our residents want improved and increased rail services and we’ll be continuing to press rail service providers for that.”
He said the car park is designed to serve a catchment area of more than 19,000 people, including Manea, Doddington and Wimblington, Chatteris and Welney.
A council spokesperson said: “An ‘official’ opening is planned soon, but the car park is already open and available for motorists to use. It opened to motorists on August 7.
— John Elworthy (@johnelworthy) August 21, 2023
“The car park, open 5.30am to 10.30pm, includes 100 parking spaces, disabled bays, a cycle shelter, CCTV, and low energy lighting.
“The car park is part of a raft of improvements for Fenland stations being delivered through Fenland District Council’s Railway Station Masterplans scheme, funded by £9.5 million from the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority.”
The spokesperson added: “The opening of the car park was delayed due to problems with CCTV installation.”
Passed through Manea today and – to the disappointment of some but probably not all – we didn't stop. Six vehicles in car park ( I think) but for goodness sake what sort of journalist obsesses with counting cars in a car park lol pic.twitter.com/67bpsaI1IC
— John Elworthy (@johnelworthy) August 18, 2023
Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia said: “We are really pleased that the car park at Manea has been extended.
“It means there is now the capacity to encourage more sustainable journeys on the rail network to/from Manea, using our comfortable and reliable new trains.
Two weeks in and back to normal for Manea where locals once again shun glitzy CCTV controlled £1.1m new station car park and park along Station Rd. Which genius @CambsPboroCA and @FenlandCouncil signed off on car park heaven only knows but they used sledge hammer to crack a nut pic.twitter.com/mQiGFsVGQS
— John Elworthy (@johnelworthy) August 19, 2023
“Instead of having to drive to March, Ely or maybe even Peterborough before catching the train, passengers can now make a more local trip to Manea and board the train there, thereby helping to reduce pollution and congestion.
“We would like to thank Fenland District Council and all the other partners involved in this project.”
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