lunes, 26 de agosto de 2013

Cambridge illegal parking, cheaper for shoppers

Shoppers in Cambridge city centre are finding it cheaper to park illegally and pay a fine rather than use an official car park.

Self-study activity:
Watch this BBC news item by clicking on the picture below or on the BBC link and answer the questions below about it.

The activity is suitable for intermediate 1 and intermediate 2 students.

1 How much is the fine if you are caught parking illegally on the street?
2 How much does parking cost at the Grand Arcade multi-storey car park?
3 Who decides the prices?
4 Who do shop owners want to park in the car park?
5 How many parking spaces are there available?
6 How does the first woman interviewed usually get around in Cambridge? Why?

To check your answers, you can read the transcript below.

For a motorist, a heart-sinking moment, a parking ticket on your windscreen. But if you come to shop here in Cambridge and park in this multi-storey on a Saturday, paying a fine could be the cheaper option.
Get caught overstaying in a meter and the fine is £25 if you pay it soon enough. Nine to five at the Grand Arcade though is £26 and then they’ll charge an extra pound for every hour after that.
The city council set the parking prices here. They are high on purpose, they say.
The main driver, for the very high all day charge is we don’t want them to be parked all days, so if the car park is filled up with tourists and commuters then there will be spaces denied to shoppers, and the retailers don’t want that.
Just over 950 spaces here generate more than £9 million, the profits helping to pay other council’s services. But shoppers today were unimpressed.
I try to bike into Cambridge as much as possible because I live in the city purely on the basis because car parking is so expensive, …and that’s actually probably what I think they want me to do. But the reality is that when you have two children and that can be rather more problematic than they might appreciate.
Park outside and get a parking ticket? It’s ridiculous.
I think it’s a lot of money. I’m just visiting Cambridge today, and we’ve only been here a few hours. We’ve enjoyed the day but it’s a lot of money.
If the prices rise even further here, some motorists may even opt for a fine on the streets outside instead.