Multi-storey car park improvements set to get under way

News release from 9 May 2017, 9:32am

Three city centre car parks are set to receive essential improvements starting later this month as part of a £1.2m investment programme.

To ease the customer’s journey and to keep customers informed Cambridge City Council will be using a number of digital platforms to report on parking space availability.

  • Up-to-date information on parking space availability will be reported, as it happens, in live time, on the council website;
  • The variable message system, which displays the availability of parking spaces in each car park on electronic signs, situated on the major roads into the city, will also be updated in live time to reflect the capacity of the car parks;
  • There will be updates on social media and on the on-site signage in place in the car parks;
  • Progress reports on the works will be published weekly on the council’s website.

For information about car parking availability and up to date information about the improvements to the three car parks go to:

Updates will also be posted at and

The programme was given the go-ahead by councillors in January and work is set to get underway in May to make sure the car parks continue to provide easy access to city centre parking.

Since the improvements were given the green light, the council has worked to appoint contractors and to then schedule the work over the summer period.

The Grand Arcade car park, which has not had any major refurbishment works since it opened in 2007, will have a number of improvements including a completely new protective deck coating throughout the upper car park, to keep rainwater out and to protect the building structure.

Drainage systems will be improved or repaired to stop pooling water, reducing the risk of flooding and the potential need to close areas of the car park. Remarking and re-lining of all traffic routes and parking bays will also be completed.

At Queen Anne Terrace car park essential repairs including minor structural repairs will be carried out, including improvements to the stairwells.

At Grafton East car park there will be some repair work carried out to the roof which forms part of the protection system to the building structure.

The works are being scheduled over the summer for three reasons.

  • Firstly, the new deck coating at Grand Arcade needs to be applied in warmer weather so that it sets quickly and those areas of the car park can be used by customers again in good time;
  • Secondly, the council wants to avoid works during the run-up to Christmas – a time when demand for car parking from customers and businesses is at its greatest;
  • Thirdly, the council wants all three car parks to be fully upgraded and at full capacity before the redevelopment of Park Street car park begins in 2018.

The works are set to be carried out between 15 May and 24 September during which time there will be a temporary reduction in the number of car parking spaces available.

Deep cleaning of the multi-storey car parks to remove car exhaust dust and debris, which is conducted twice yearly, will be carried out and run in conjunction with the other works, in an effort to minimise disruption to customers.

There will be 80% availability across the parking portfolio during all the works.

Sean Cleary, Commercial Operations Manager, said: “These works are essential to make sure our multi-storey car parks continue to provide the facilities and the service expected by the hundreds of thousands of people who use them each year.

“We regret that there will be some inconvenience to our customers but, such is the huge demand for car parking in the city centre, there is no ideal time to carry out the work.

“We must have the work completed before the redevelopment of Park Street car park begins next year, we want to avoid the run-up to Christmas which is particularly busy and the replacement of deck coating and roof repairs needs to be done in the summer.

“We will do all we can to keep our customers up to date through our social media tools which will carry all the latest information about the work.”

Councillors approved the projects at Environment Scrutiny Committee on 17 January. Since then, procurement and contract award processes have been carried out with contractors approved for the works.

Unfortunately, this refurbishment programme is likely to cause some inconvenience to customers but as the works are essential and there is consistently high demand for car parking in the city centre throughout the year, there is no ideal or better time to carry out the work.