THE temporary three-month cut-price parking deal introduced by Cambridge City Council is to conclude on 31 October.
The special £1 per hour deal was brought in to support the early stages of recovery of city centre shops, the market, and reopening food and drink businesses from 1 August.
From 1 November, parking charges at the council’s multi-storey and surface car parks will revert to the pre-coronavirus parking tariff – see: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/parking.
The temporary £1 per hour fee has been successful in drawing customers into the city, helping businesses to recover post-lockdown. August saw an increase of more than 56,000 visitors to the car parks than the previous month, which equates to more than 250,000 extra shopping hours and a week-on-week footfall increase across city.
Car park usage: 1 July to 30 September
While the £1 charge has encouraged more people to return to the city centre, many of whom may not have otherwise done so, it has also had the effect of contributing to an increase in congestion.
Cllr Nicky Massey, Executive Councillor for Transport and Community Safety, said: “Our parking strategy has long been to reduce congestion, cut carbon emissions and air pollution, as well as supporting the local economy.
“We made the three-month cut to parking charges to help city centre businesses recover after lockdown was eased and to protect the jobs of all their workers.
“It has been good to see more people visiting the city centre and I am pleased that we have been able to help businesses over the three month period.
“As a council that has declared a climate change emergency, our focus on tackling the causes of climate change remains as strong as ever and our approach to parking needs to reflect that. For that reason we will, as planned, conclude the temporary parking deal.”
Cllr Massey added: “We know businesses continue to face a difficult situation as they try to attract more customers and we will continue to work with city centre businesses, market traders, Cambridge BID and our other partners to ensure that the city centre is as welcoming and, in line with our #StaySafeCambridge campaign, as safe as possible.
“I encourage everyone to continue to play their part in following the NHS and national advice on social distancing, hand washing and face coverings.”
Parking fees in council owned surface car parks have been enforced since the start of this month.