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Great city centre shops will keep people using car parks

By Ben Comber

Trinity St. Picture: Keith Heppell
Trinity St. Picture: Keith Heppell

Chambers of Commerce research shows that increased Sunday parking prices will not stop shoppers coming to the city

City council profit from car parks

2015/16 - £3.7m

2014/15 - £2.9m

2013/14 - £2.4m

The city’s diverse retail offer will keep shoppers coming back on Sundays, despite the proposed parking price increase.

That’s the suggestion of research by the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce.

The city council is considering changes to parking charges from next year, including increased prices on Sundays.

However, the proposals could also include cutting ticket prices on Mondays and Tuesdays in multi-storey car parks.

Traffic monitoring per 12 hour day and footfall

2015 - there were just over 206,300 motor vehicles entering and leaving

Cambridge per 12-hour day (7am to 7pm).

2014 - just over 200,000 motor vehicles entering and leaving

Cambridge per 12-hour day (7am to 7pm).

City centre footfall has increased on last year for the past 14 weeks.

Chambers chief executive John Bridge said: “We have seen that people are concerned over the Sunday increase, but research that the chamber has carried out shows that the price of parking is not a key factor that affects a shopper’s choice to come to the city centre, it’s the retail offer that is the important factor.”

Mr Bridge believes Cambridge has a great offer that will keep shoppers in the city.

He continued: “The difficulty is that we would always like the price to be cheaper, but if you look at Cambridge at the weekend people are queuing for the car parks.”

Cambridge City Council’s car parks cost £7.7 million to operate each year. If shopper’s habits do not change, next year’s increase in car parking charges could generate around £300,000 additional income for the council, raising £9.2m.

The council is currently trying to find £2.2m savings before 2022 to balance the books – just under £500,000 per year.

The council says there are several aims of the new charges, primarily to discourage long-stay parking in car parks, and maintaining affordable, value for money for those using short-stay parking.

The changes would see one hour at the Grafton centre during peak times cost £2 (£2.10 currently) on Mondays and Tuesdays, £2.30 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (£2.10), and £2.60 (£2.30 and £2, respectively) on Saturdays and Sundays.

The full list of proposed prices can be found on the council website.


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