£1 parking fee to hit St Ives guided bus passengers

Guided busway

Guided busway - Credit: Archant

Guided bus passengers will have to pay to use the park and ride site in St Ives.

Cambridgeshire County Council will introduce a £1 fee for cars parked at the Meadow Lane Park and Ride, and at Longstanton, from April.

The Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee agreed the traffic regulation order – parking restrictions – for the two sites on Tuesday. It is expected the two sites will boost the council’s budget by £120,000 a year. Those who want to park for under an hour, can still stay for free.

Commuters can also get an annual pass for £230, or £20 for four weeks. Motorists wanting to park for 18-24 hours will be charged £10, between 24 and 48 hours £20 and £30 for 48 to 72 hours.

One user complained: “This is my only means to get to work and I pay £1,032 a year currently. These proposals will add another £300 plus a year in parking charges to me.

“They will lead to an increase in traffic and put people who rely on this service as a daily commute at a financial disadvantage.”

Another objector wrote to the council: “The increase in parking charges would add another £20 a month. This would mean I would pay £105 per month for this service. The proposed parking charge will encourage me to drive instead of using this service.”

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Councillors introduced the fee at five of its park and ride sites surrounding Cambridge in July last year but the £800,000 of generated income fell short of the £1million expected.

The charge has already seen passenger numbers plummet in Cambridge by around 15 per cent.

The committee report acknowledges “there may be a reduction in the number of journeys any individual makes as a result of introducing the charge”.

Passengers also complained about the parking meters as they were not

user-friendly, with many missing their buses due to not being able to use the machines.

The report also warned about the impact of displaced parking and recommends introducing parking restrictions on Meadow Lane.

Introducing the charge will cost the council £135,000, and will have an annual charge, which includes enforcement and an automatic number plate recognition system to manage parking, of £40,000.

The county council’s parking team will enforce restrictions in the park and ride site.

Will the £1 parking charge put you off using the St Ives park and ride? Send your views to editor@huntspost.co.uk.