Councillor criticises Cambridge Park and Ride charges

PUBLISHED: 10:12 28 September 2013

NEW charges for Park and Ride sites around Cambridge will have a detrimental effect for commuters in Crow country, according to a councillor.

Transport bosses at Cambridgeshire County Council have agreed to the £1 parking levy at Cambridge’s five Park and Ride sites, including the Trumpington site which adjoins the A10 to address a £1million budget short-fall. Currently parking is free, with commuters paying a bus fare to get into the city, but the new charge will come into force in January.

Melbourn’s county councillor Susan van de Ven said she is against an extra charge, and fears it will lead to more cars on the road.

She said: “It would have been good if the council had talked to people who use the Park and Ride first. I haven’t seen any survey that’s been carried out, and more information is needed about the effect this charge will have.

“I know from the A10 Corridor Cycling Campaign that a lot of people in this area want to cut down on the number of miles they do in their cars. We’re trying to encourage people to leave their cars at home so that there’s less traffic on the roads, and this won’t help.”

Cllr van de Ven chairs the cycling campaign, which held it’s AGM on Tuesday evening. She said the council should be looking at alternative ways to raise the money required.

She said: “The council should first be exploring retail options or looking at a greater contribution from the bus operator, which is enjoying unchanged departure charges. We need more integrated public transport systems, and this isn’t going to help.

The county council’s deputy leader, Cllr Mac McGuire, said the charge was necessary due to the financial challenges facing the council, and described the £1 fee as very modest.

The charges are expected to bring in a profit of £1 million a year, though the system will cost £800,000 to introduce.

A report to councillors said introduction of parking charges elsewhere had led to a short-term dip in usage but that passenger numbers returned to normal before long.

*What do you think? Will the new charge stop you using Park and Ride? Email postbag@royston-crow.co.uk.

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