A £1 car parking charge will be introduced from 14 May at both the Guided Busway Park and Ride sites.

The £1 charge applies to any motorist who parks in either the St Ives or Longstanton car parks.

The move was agreed as part of Cambridgeshire County Council's budget setting and brings the parking charges in line with the other Park and Ride sites in Cambridge.

Money generated by the Busway sites will help support vital frontline services.

Cambridgeshire County Council has had to find £100 million in savings over the last three years and faces a further £30 million this year with more set to come.

The £1 charge will allow motorists to park for between 1 and 18 hours. The first hour is free to allow people to drop off or pick up bus passengers.

Customers are able to purchase parking tickets in advance and find out more information at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/parkandride which also allows users to book a discounted weekly, four weekly or annual ticket.

Unlike the Cambridge park and rides there will be separate ticket machines to pay for parking on the two Busway sites.

As with the Cambridge Park and Ride sites, there are no barriers and parking tickets do not have to be displayed in the vehicle. The system uses cameras that have automatic number plate recognition on entrances and exits to check who has paid to park.

Parking for longer than 18 hours will be allowed but the following charges will apply

Between 18 and 24 hours - £10
Between 24 and 48 hours - £20
Between 48 and 72 hours - £30

The charge to park also applies to concessionary bus pass holders but they can still use their cards to travel on the buses.

Bus tickets can be purchased either from the driver or the normal ticket machines before travelling.

Joseph Whelan, Head of Passenger Transport for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "In an ideal world we would not charge. But every year the Council has to find an extra £1 million to look after the Cambridge sites as well as making millions of savings while protecting frontline services. With Councils being asked to save millions of pounds from services such as social care or looking after children, authorities are left with a hard choice about where they can spend money or find income. The new system is convenient to use and we will have staff on hand to assist as users become familiar with it.  Park and Ride and the Busway still remains one of the best and most cost effective ways of getting into Cambridge."

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