Friday, 25 May 2018

Removing charges leads to greater use of P&R car parks!

The data wranglers at Smart Cambridge have been taking a look at the parking figures at the Park & Ride sites since charges were removed at the beginning of April. I'm sure you'll find this hard to believe, but usage has increased. Yes, really!

So far, the only site relevant to the Busway that they've investigated is Trumpington. The increase there is lower than at Babraham Road - as this Smart Cambridge post explains, this is because Trumpington operates at closer to maximum capacity for some of the time, so the scope for increased usage is diminished.

What the data cannot tell us - this could only be determined by a survey of vehicle users - is whether the additional parking results from drivers who would previously have carried on into the city (clearly a "good thing"), or from those who now undertake the first part of their journey by car or van, where previously it would have been entirely by public transport. If it were to be the latter, then - perversely - the removal of parking charges could actually have led to an increase in the number of vehicles driving into the Cambridge suburbs. But we have no way of knowing.

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