Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Proposals For New Car Park Charges From 1 April 2014

New car parking charges are proposed to be introduced in Cambridge from 1 April next year in line with the rate of inflation. These changes are expected to generate around £300K more income in 2014-15 than in the current year.

The proposals leave the cost for most Saturday shoppers and nearly all the weekday rates unchanged at the Grafton Centre. Increases for shoppers at the Grand Arcade are limited to 10p per hour, with no increase in the week for a 4 hour stay, and inflation-only increases for longer stays of more than 3 hours.

Sunday charges are brought into line across all the main sites except Queen Anne.

The price of an hour’s parking in the evening increases for the first time in four years - by 20p at the Grand Arcade, and 10p elsewhere.

New rates are also being introduced for business parking, with a discount for energy-efficient cars.

All Shopmobility customers and Blue Badge holders will continue to receive three hours’ free parking.

Executive Councillor for Planning and Climate Change, Tim Ward said:

“The slowdown in the economy and the growth in internet shopping appears to have affected car park demand. We have seen usage falling slightly compared with last year. We recognise that in the current economic climate people have less disposable income than in previous years.

We are heeding the requests of retailers by limiting increases in prices for car parking this year, where changes are on average in line with the rate of inflation.

However, we are keeping to our plan to beat the queues at peak times by offering cheaper alternatives to the busiest car parks on Saturdays, and discounting the cost of parking at off-peak times, such as evenings and overnight.”

The council has invested nearly half a million pounds this year on essential works to repair and protect the structure of our car parks. This year it has made significant improvements to Grafton West, including new LED lighting, and made Grafton East, Park Street and the Grand Arcade Annex safer places to park.

New parking equipment has also been installed in recent weeks in the Grand Arcade car park that can allow the cost of parking to be incorporated into shopping deals, or for special offers to be available for people using the car parks.

Councillor Ward added: “We are looking forward to working more closely with businesses in Cambridge to improve the offer to shoppers and visitors”

So far this year (2013/14) car park income has grown by just over 1 per cent compared with last year, but usage is down by over 3 per cent

The council will be consulting about these proposals and advertising the final list before they are introduced next April.