Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Cambridge Park & Ride Charges Update

Just a quick recap. I wrote back in February to the County Council objecting to the introduction of parking charges at the Cambridge Park & Ride sites. The points I raised as part of my objection were as follows;

- This charge will increase congestion and create new on-street parking issues as workers act to avoid paying this new charge. There is no information on how this will be mitigated or even if it's been considered
- The 12-hour limit before the huge (1000%) jump in the price makes no logical sense and practically guarantees appeals from people who just managed to cross the deadline as well as penalising people who work long hours - for example who are commuting to a job in London - will be very prone to public transport delays
- The weekly cost is the same as the daily cost - thus increasing the administrative overhead as there is no incentive for people to purchase weekly tickets - surely the weekly cost should be cheaper?
- The consultation is too short and will have prevented Parish Councils meeting and forming a view on behalf of their residents
- I do not believe the effect of people using Trumpington Park & Ride to access Addenbrookes (for work, visiting relatives, etc) has been considered. In addition there does not seem to have been an assessment done for displacing parking in adjacent streets

Today I have received, from the County Councils' Bus Operations & Facilities Manager the following update;
Thank you for your recent representation regarding the proposed introduction of parking charges within the Cambridge Park & Ride sites. 
The points raised in your representation were reported to the Cambridgeshire County Councils Cabinet at its recent meeting on the 4th March.  Following careful consideration of the matter the Cabinet decided to approve the introduction of car park charges. They also resolved that in response to the objections, it was proposed to extend the period covered by the £1 charge from 12 hours to 18 hours, assisting shift workers and people who wished to remain in Cambridge at the end of the working day.
The largest number of representations were concerns about the risk of parking being displaced, in particular in the village of Milton and increasing the level of traffic around Milton Primary school.  Mitigation is proposed in the Cabinet report to ensure this situation is carefully monitored and managed if necessary.  In recognition of concerns about possible displacement of parking into the village of Milton it is proposed to undertake before and after surveys to identify and if necessary address the consequences of any displaced parking.
It is also proposed to introduce parking controls on the roads next to the sites, where these don’t already exist.  Traffic Regulation Orders will be advertised for sections of Butt Lane (near Milton site) and Cherry Hinton Road and Babraham Road (near the Babraham Road site).  The draft orders will prohibit parking on the highway and also the highway verge.  This is necessary to maintain the safe operation of the highway and avoid potentially dangerous parking on the highway verge.  Cambridgeshire Constabulary were consulted on these proposals and have supported the proposals.
Yours sincerely
Campbell Ross-Bain
Bus Operations & Facilities Manager
Whilst this far from ideal the new 18-hour window should significantly improve things for people who travel to London every day as part of their jobs as well as help the evening economy in Cambridge by ensuring that people aren't rushing back to their cars after work to avoid the huge jump in charges.

It's also good to see some acknowledgement of the issue of displaced parking.

It's very disappointing not to see significantly higher discounts for season ticket purchasers. Clearly the Conservative County Council cabinet with their UKIP allies see this as a way to raise money from already hard-pressed Cambridge and and South Cambs residents!

Here's the original document (via google drive).