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Council supports recovery of city centre with new three month cut price parking deal

News release from 27/07/2020

CAMBRIDGE City Council is introducing a special three month parking deal to support the early stages of recovery of city centre shops, the market and newly reopening food and drink businesses.

The changes mean that from Saturday 1 August:

1. There will be a single tariff of £1 per hour Monday to Sunday 24/7 at all council owned multi-storey and surface car parks for up to three months until the end of October. This will be reviewed on a monthly basis to check whether its core objective of attracting more customers into central Cambridge is being achieved;
2. The public sector key worker permit for free parking introduced in June will be extended to the end of October when it will be reviewed;
3. The city centre worker permit which was introduced in June will be discontinued as £1 an hour offers a better parking deal for employees too;
4. Parking fees in council owned surface car parks will be enforced again from the end of August and the £1 an hour tariff applied there too.

With lockdown measures easing, the council’s focus is now on supporting city centre businesses and the city’s economic recovery.

Cllr Lewis Herbert, Leader of Council, said: “We are making a three month cut to parking charges because we want to support city centre businesses recover and protect the jobs of all their workers.

“They are facing a really difficult situation in the wake of the Coronavirus lockdown, as they try to attract more people, including local residents travelling by bus, cycle or on foot.

“As businesses reopen we want to see the single £1 an hour parking tariff encourage more people to treat themselves to a fun and safe visit to the city centre, to return to our wonderful range of shops and independents, have a gander around our lovely city, and stay long enough to also enjoy the city’s stunning range of cafes, bars and restaurants.

“It is great to see numbers visiting the city centre rising as more businesses open up, but we want to do our bit to help speed things along.

“City centre food and beverage businesses are working so hard to welcome back their customers, assisted by the Mondays to Wednesdays national Eat Out to Help Out Scheme about to begin in August, which means now is a great time to cut our parking charges and support our city centre.”

Although the government has suggested that the use of public transport can increase, many people may still prefer to use a car. This is because of its convenience and ease of social distancing and that why the three month offer will run until the end of October.

Since lockdown restrictions were lifted there has been an increase in the use of surface car parks at Adam and Eve Street and Gwydir Street.

To ensure that there is fair access to these car parks, enforcement rules which were paused earlier this year will return. This brings these car parks into line with the county council’s approach to on street parking enforcement.

Cllr Herbert added: “We will continue to work closely with city centre businesses, market traders, Cambridge BID, the county council and our other partners to ensure that the city centre is as welcoming, appealing and, assisted by our #StaySafeCambridge campaign, as safe as possible.

“To do that we need everyone to do their bit and follow the NHS and national advice on social distancing, hygiene and wearing face coverings at all times when in shops, on buses or in other public indoor spaces.

“Doing these things will help to reduce the likelihood of the kind of local lockdown that we have seen elsewhere in the country and which we dearly want to avoid that here in Cambridge. By getting out and about in the city we can all help to keep local people in jobs.”