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Councillors will review further changes to the new parking permit charge proposals to help tackle congestion in Cambridge on Tuesday 13 February, at the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee (H&CI) meeting.

It was presented to the H&CI committee in November last year and whilst many of the recommendations were approved, the committee asked officers to review the proposals for residents’ parking charges and in particular the visitors’ permit charges and types of permits available.

The changes to permit fees for residents parking in Cambridge are part of a package of parking recommendations supported at a joint meeting between Cambridgeshire County and Cambridge City Councils last autumn.

The Council has already outlined a strong commitment to reducing congestion into the city and to keep Cambridgeshire moving, supporting the aims of the Greater Cambridge Partnership. The proposed increase to permit prices aims to encourage the use of sustainable transport alternatives such as walking, cycling and public transport. It will also help generate income that is needed to cover the costs of providing resident parking schemes which have steadily increased in recent years, while fees have not been reviewed since 2011.

The new proposals, if approved, will see a ‘standard’ residents’ permit charge of £52 for a scheme operating from Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. This will cover the basic cost of enforcement, administration and maintenance of the scheme. Permit charges for schemes outside of the standard rate of £52 will be charged for each additional hour of operation.

It is also proposed to increase the visitors’ permit fees – currently £8 to £12, each permit allowing five visits, working out at £2.40 per day. If agreed, Blue Badge holders will be eligible for a free annual permit for their visitors. This new permit will offer Blue Badge holders the opportunity to receive social visits free of charge without having to purchase standard visitors’ permits.

With new parking schemes being implemented in the city in 2018 onwards, the proposals also outline the need for a flexible approach to address and accommodate specific local parking pressures where and when possible. These changes will be agreed on a case by case basis between the Chair of the H&CI Committee and the local County Councillor.

Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chair of the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Mathew Shuter said: “These sorts of decisions are never taken lightly and this is why we asked officers to look at the charges again to ensure we have the right proposals for resident’s parking charges, taking residents’ feedback into account. Parking fees have not been reviewed for a long time and we have to look at ways to reduce the deficit the service is currently running at.

“We realise there will always be people that need to drive into the city for one reason or another. These proposals are not about punishing commuters and visitors but we’re passionate about reducing congestion and improving air quality for everyone.”

If approved, the new charges and permits will be implemented in April 2018. 

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