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Park Street car park upgrade in Cambridge city centre ruled out for being too expensive and disruptive

By Ben Comber

Park Street car park . Picture: Keith Heppell
Park Street car park . Picture: Keith Heppell

Councillors will discuss alternative options for the major upgrade in November.

Investigatory work has ruled out the preferred underground car park upgrade for Park Street car park as it’s deemed too expensive and too disruptive, due to the period needed for the works.

Councillors approved detailed investigation work into the feasibility of options including for a three or four storey underground car park with housing and commercial units above it in January 2016.

At that time it was envisaged that the scheme would take 18 to 24 months to complete and it was recognised that there needed to be a clear focus on establishing the impact of it on local residents and businesses, both during and after completion of the construction work.

The investigatory work into the large scale underground car park option showed it would be too costly and too disruptive for residents and businesses due to the likely construction period.

Other complicating factors include the need for archaeological investigations, construction challenges relating to going three or four storeys below ground and the unavailability of public car parking at Park Street for the duration of the works.

Cllr Lewis Herbert, leader of Cambridge City Council, said: “The council and its investment partnership have carried out detailed feasibility work and it is now clear that going deep underground for a new Park Street car park is not a viable option.

“We will now look at the other alternatives we were considering, which include redeveloping Park Street as an above ground car park, or refurbishing the existing car park.

“Throughout our investigations, the need to minimise disruption to local residents and businesses and ensure continuity of parking elsewhere has been at the forefront of our minds.

“We are clear that there still needs to be a successful scheme for Park Street car park to bring it up to modern standards. Redevelopment and refurbishment options will be brought forward for consideration, followed by consultation on the preferred option.”

“Mitigation measures planned for any scheme at Park Street will include limiting the closure period as far as practical and promoting other car and cycle parks in the city centre where spaces are available, bus services and also the park and ride.”

A report will be presented to councillors that will describe the outcome of the feasibility work and recommend that other options should be pursued.


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