Cambridge Grand Arcade: Shoppers can save by 'illegal' parking

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Media captionThe fine for parking illegally can be cheaper than paying to park

Some shoppers in Cambridge are finding it cheaper to park illegally in the city centre and pay a fine than to use an official car park, it is claimed.

The cost of parking in the Grand Arcade shopping centre on Saturdays, over five hours, costs £26 from 0900 to 1700.

Parking fines are £50, but can be reduced by half if paid within 14 days, making it cheaper for shoppers by £1.

Councillor Tim Ward, of Cambridge City Council, said he was "surprised" at the revelation.

The annual turnover generated by parking fees is worth about £9m to the city council, funding which is used to subsidise other council services.

Mr Ward said that retailers "would like parking to be cheaper for the first two or three hours, but they agree all day parking charges should be high enough to discourage people staying all day".

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