Disability access information for transport to, from and around Cambridge and the surrounding area. See also separate information on Ely.

Driving in the city centre

Driving in the city centre takes a while to get used to. If you are unfamiliar with the roads and one-way systems, it is worth getting clear directions and advice from someone local in advance. If you are travelling in peak times, it is also worth considering the excellent public transport links into and within the city – see separate sections on Train, Bus and Coach, and Park & Ride.

Note that students must apply for formal permission from the University before being allowed to bring their cars to Cambridge. Ask your College for help in going about this.

Temporary rising bollards

Temporary rising bollards, recently installed by the council to control traffic in and out of the centre, are in:

  • Bridge Street: Closed 24 hours a day every day.
  • St John’s: Closed 10am-4pm Monday to Saturday.
  • King’s Parade: Closed 9am-6pm every day.
  • Silver Street: Closed both ways midnight to 6am and 10am to 4pm. Open inbound only 6am to 10am. Open outbound only 4pm to midnight.

Registered disabled (Mobility Allowance, higher rate of Disability Living Allowance, War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement, and those with severe mobility disabilities with a letter from the doctor) are eligible for a permit card, which can be used to lower the bollards at St John’s Street and enable you to drive in the city centre. Disabled students, even if not permanently resident in Cambridge, and short-term disabled visitors to Cambridge can usually obtain permits.

For an application form, please contact:

  • Environment and Planning Department, Cambridge City Council
  • 2nd Floor, Guildhall, Cambridge CB2 3QJ
  • Tel: 01223 457 317
  • Fax: 01223 457 109

Silver Street bollards

The bollards at Silver Street are operated by a transponder permanently attached to your car, and it is much more difficult to obtain a permit to pass through these. If you do think you require this, please contact:

  • Sue Hewitt, Cambridge Traffic Liaison Manager
  • ET 1028 Castle Court, Shire Hall, Cambridge CB3 0AP
  • Tel: 01223 712 428

Finding parking in the centre of Cambridge can be difficult, and often expensive. Traffic wardens are everywhere, so don’t be tempted to leave your car without making sure it is legally parked and paid for.

You may be able to obtain parking spaces at your College and/or department. If you are visiting the city centre, it is probably best to park in a multi-storey car park such as Lion Yard, the Grafton Centre (East is better than West), Queen Anne or Park Street. 950 new car parking spaces are expected as part of the Grand Arcade project, due to be completed spring 2008. Follow signs for parking as you enter the city.

For more information about parking, call the City Council Parking Department on 01223 458 500 or see the Council website

Blue badge holders can park in:

  • Grafton Centre West: 3 designated spaces, first 3 hours free
  • Grafton Centre East: 43 designated spaces, first 3 hours free
  • Lion Yard: 14 designated spaces on second floor (37 designated spaces when redevelopment is finished), first 3 hours free
  • Park Street: 8 designated spaces, first 3 hours free
  • Queen Anne: 27 designated space on ground floor, first 3 hours free

To claim the concession do not pay at a machine – take your Blue Badge to the car park kiosk so that the cashier on duty can process your ticket and take the reduced payment if one is due. Note that you only receive the concession between 8am and 8pm (10am to 5pm on Sundays) and the ticket must be presented to the cashier before 8pm (5pm on Sundays). The scheme will not refund concessions if you do not take your ticket to the cashier.

There are also on-street disabled parking spaces in:

  • Adam & Eve Street: 3 spaces
  • Fair Street: 2 spaces
  • City Road: 2 spaces
  • Napier Street: 2 spaces
  • Guildhall Street: 2 spaces
  • Peas Hill: 4 spaces
  • Regent Street: 2 spaces
  • King’s Parade: 3 spaces
  • Jesus Lane: 6 spaces
  • Round Church Street: 3 spaces
  • St Andrews Street: 6 spaces
  • Hobson Street: 6 spaces

Blue Badge holders can also park for free in all Pay & Display car parks, and on single and double yellow lines for up to three hours as long as no obstruction is caused.

To find out if you are eligible for a Blue Badge call 0845 045 5212 or email jon.finney@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.