Parking in Cambridge historic city centre

Access to the historic city centre

In some of the roads surrounding the Cambridge historic centre there are closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras mounted on poles that control traffic in and out of the centre and these are located in the following streets:

  • Bridge Street: Closed 24 hours a day every day
  • Emmanuel Road: Closed 24 hours a day every day
  • Regent Street: Closed 24 hours a day every day heading towards the city centre. The other carriageway isn’t restricted
  • Silver Street: Closed 24 hours a day every day
  • St John's Street: Closed 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday

In central Cambridge, a pedestrian priority area operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and access is further restricted between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday. Between these hours there is no access for vehicles except for emergency vehicles or drivers who have been issued with an access permit.

Unloading in the historic city centre

Legitimate loading and unloading of a vehicle can take place outside of the 10am to 4pm restricted access hours. However, within those hours the historic centre has a 'no loading/no waiting' restriction.

Vehicles found in the zone without permission will be issued with an instant Penalty Charge Notice and vehicles that fail to display a valid permit can be stopped and issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice by the police.

Day permits

If you are a business within the historic city centre and you need access to it for yourself or someone who will be working on your premises during the operational hours you can apply for a day permit by contacting 01223 727 915 or emailing Permits are not automatically granted – the vehicle must be absolutely necessary to the task. Permits will not be issued for the convenience of parking nearby.

You need to do this at least two weeks in advance explaining why a vehicle is required and why access could not take place outside of 10am to 4pm.

If you require emergency access please call 01223 727 915.

Vehicles can park to load outside the restricted hours of 10am and 4pm. Once loading or unloading has taken place then you must seek alternative parking arrangements.

Day permits are only considered for the following uses:

  • fundraising activity associated with organisations registered as a charity with the Charity Commissioners
  • non-commercial or non-profit making activities that are considered to be in the interest of or to the benefit of the general public
  • public entertainment events that are promoted through the Cambridge City Centre Management Group

A permit may be issued for an activity that falls outside of these uses if a special need can be demonstrated.

Disabled access to Cambridge City Centre

A permit may be granted to allow vehicular access to the historic city centre for those with severe physical disabilities. To qualify, you must be in receipt of the War Pension Mobility Supplement, Mobility Allowance, appropriate higher rate Disability Living Allowance, or equivalent Personal Independence Payments.

Information on blue badge holders parking in Cambridge city centre car parks can be found on the Cambridge City Council website.