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In Cambridge (UK), P&R prices have recently been scrapped. Does it mean that one can park to any P&R site (of course up to 18 hr.s) w/o taking the bus and doing anything else (e.g. displaying something)? Is doing this regularly everyday allowed?

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    Ethically... you should not. Legally? I'll let the denizens of Travel.SE answer. – Jim MacKenzie May 2 '18 at 21:29
  • "displaying something" you mean a car for sale sign in the window or...? – nkjt May 3 '18 at 7:59
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    @nkjt many car parks in the UK (though apparently not these ones) are "pay and display", you go to the payment machine and buy a ticket (or occasionally get a short duration one for free) which you display in your windscreen while parked. People with long term permits, disabled badges etc would similarly display those in the windscreen. The parking enforcement can then check the windscreens of cars to see who has not paid. – Peter Green May 3 '18 at 19:14
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This used to be the case before the council became greedy, and shot itself in the foot with machines so complicated they needed an attendant to explain how to use them.

People resented the charge, driving further in and clogging residential streets, defeating the purpose of the park & ride sites.

Now, you can once again park at Babraham Road park & ride and walk to Addenbrookes Hospital (if you are well enough). Also, commuters can once again use the sites to park & cycle into the city – without charge unless you stay a long time.

In the old days you could park as long as you wanted. The airport buses stop at one of the park & ride sites so you could park up for free and go on holiday, but it seems fair that is no longer the case.

Edit: about "displaying something".

The parking system is controlled by ANPR cameras so the only thing on display is the vehicle's number plate. During the previous daytime parking fee regime there was one hour free. All you had to do was drive in and leave within 1 hour. Now you just drive in and leave within 18 hours, but you must pay in advance if you want to stay longer.

That system is bad, because you must predict how long you will stay and be penalised if you get it wrong. Not far away at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, at one time you had to guess how long your appointment would take, or face a penalty charge. Their system is now sensible and you pay afterwards for the time you stayed. If only Cambridge City could do that!

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