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Mackays sells East Road site in Cambridge amid fears of road restrictions in future





A well-established Cambridge business that has traded from the same city centre location for more than 100 years has announced it has sold the site.

Mackays of Cambridge Ltd has been at the heart of the city’s business community since 1912, but its directors say now is the “time to begin a new chapter”.

Neil Mackay has spoken out previously about plans to restrict traffic Picture: Keith Heppell
Neil Mackay has spoken out previously about plans to restrict traffic Picture: Keith Heppell

The directors say the prospect of increasing road restrictions and the possibility of road pricing have been a “major consideration” in their decision.

Mackays will be relocating the business to the outskirts of Cambridge, with its new location to be announced at a later date. It will continue to operate from East Road for the next 18 months.

A statement from Mackays’ directors released yesterday (Tuesday, October 24) said: “We will continue to trade from East Road for the next 18 months so there will be no sudden changes.

“We hope our loyal customer base will continue to support us during this significant upheaval for our family business.”

The Mackay family business began on East Road in June 1912 after Donald Mackay purchased the Alsop & Sons Wheelwright business.

Over the past year, Neil Mackay has spoken out against plans for road charging in Cambridge and the impact it could have on businesses.

The Greater Cambridge Partnership’s executive board agreed not to press ahead with road charging proposals last month – and has restarted work on its plans to review the city’s road network.

However, a debate at Cambridgeshire County Council last week heard councillors argue whether road charging should be kept on the table in the future.

Conservative members argued road charging should be left in the “rearview mirror”, but some others said they needed to be able to “look at all the tools in the box”.

The Mackays statement continued: “Due to the nature of the types of products and services we sell, our business relies on motorised transport having unfettered access.

“However, we face the prospect of increasing road restrictions and the possibility of road pricing being forced onto our customers, suppliers and staff. In the past few days, many county councillors have expressed that they are still committed to some form of road pricing within Cambridge city.

“This has been a major consideration in our decision making. The directors feel this is the right time to move.

“We sincerely believe this will give the business the best opportunity to thrive long into the future.

“We have stood proudly on this site since 1912 and the history associated with it is profound, but now is the time to begin a new chapter.”



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