Cambridge car park prices slashed in effort to boost economy

Car parks in Cambridge will cost just £1 an hour over the course of the next three months as the council attempts to boost the local economy.

The new 24/7 prices come into effect this Saturday (August 1) and last until the end of October.

The permit which allows public sector key works to park for free will also be extended until the same time.

The city council says it will review the scheme to see if it is actually enticing shoppers to the city to support businesses.

The Grafton Centre’s car park during lockdown
(Image: Cambridge News)

Councillor Lewis Herbert, leader of the city 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 cafés, 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.

A couple makes their way through the quiet top floor of the Grand Arcade

“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.

“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.”

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