Cowley Road Car Boot Sale Closed

Cowley Road Park and Ride Closed

At Cambridge City Council’s meeting on the 4th of December 2008 Labour Councillor for Arbury Mike Todd-Jones asked Councillor Rod Cantrill the Executive Councillor for Customer Services and Resources an oral question:

Following the move of the Park and Ride from Cowley Road to Milton, can he assure the hundreds of regular users of the weekly weekend Cowley Road car boot sale that there will be a site for the event to continue?

Cllr Cantrill was not able to provide the assurance Mr Todd-Jones was seeking, he also didn’t explain why the current site could not be used for the car boot sale until it is put to another use. The site is owned by Cambridge City Council. Cllr Cantrill noted that he had to consider the loss of income to the council from not renting the site to the car boot sale but didn’t explain why he was not doing this. He said council officers would be prepared to discuss the options with the car boot sale operators, including the possibility of using the new park and ride site, or part of it. Though the new site operates on Sundays, and traders have now been told the market is closed for good.

Many have commented that the loss of the car boot sale is particularly badly timed as we are going into a recession, as it gives opportunities for traders to gain additional income and for buyers to find bargains. The council should not be discouraging such positive economic activity in the City. I cannot see why the old park and ride site cannot be used for a car boot sale until another use is found for it. The operators of the car boot sale could be required to tidy and re-secure the site after use as part of their rental agreement.

We have not had much clarity from the council, we do not know why has an arrangement with the car boot sale operators not been reached. Were the operators seeking a lower rent, or the council seeking a higher rent than had previously been charged? Without such open explanations people are left wondering if Cambridge City Council simply opposes the idea of a car boot sale.

See also this Cambridge Evening News article on the topic.

31 responses to “Cowley Road Car Boot Sale Closed”

  1. The Sunday car boot sale is a great place to recycle those things you no longer need but others may like. It is true recycling.
    The vegetable stall also provides great bargains for vegetables and fruit at much cheaper prices than the supermarkets and without the packaging.

  2. another example of cambridge city councils head in the sand attitude, ( lets fence it off and leave it vacant when we could be making some money out of it) never mind the council tax can go up and cover it..

  3. This car boot was extremely popular with traders and sellers alike. The land is vacant,not being used. This area should be put to good use. What are the counceil doing about finding another site for the regualrs to use!!

  4. Can I take this opportunity to let you know that EMG Motor Group on Milton Road are giving up half of our used car forecourt for a charity car boot sale on Sunday 15th March. It won’t be on the scale of the old Cowley Road boot sale I’m afraid, however pitches start from just £5 and all proceeds are going to Comic Relief. Please call me on 01223 729760 if you would like to book.

  5. No wonder it was deserted when I turned up recently! Was well hacked-off! Any news on replacement or does anyone know of an alternative site which is quite buzzy

  6. This is such a pity.It was a great asset to have this and closed through no reason!!. Lets hope a replacement is found soon.

  7. Happened out there this weekend, only to find the site deserted and apparently closed. Several other people I met on my way there/back were similarly confused. I suggest we make this issue known in the upcoming local elections. How typically blinkered of the council to abolish a 2000-people-a-week local event!

  8. I haven’t lived here that long, but it does seem to me the council here like to take away community/fun/festival events from the people at ground level! Something needs to be done to bring these people out of the sky!

  9. Stagecoach is currently applying for planning permission to use this site for bus parking.

    The application is being considered by a joint committee of City, SCDC and County Councillors despite the site being wholly within the city boundary. The planning meeting is on Wednesday the 15th of April 2009 in the University Centre at 10am.

    The proposal is for parking of 126 Public Service Vehicles (PSV) to suit the existing parking layout of the Park and Ride site. This would be located within the central parking area of the site. Staff parking would be along the north and east boundaries of the site as per the existing layout. The proposal would allow space to be freed up at the existing depot so that buses can be fuelled, washed and then immediately parked up at the proposed parking area, preventing them from waiting on the public highway, as currently occurs.

    This is an interim usage of the site before the long term future is decided in conjunction with proposals for the Chesterton Station and associated development. The report states:

    “The City Council are managing the site and its interim use, with aim of generating rental income and maintaining legal occupation of the vacant site until its possible longer term redevelopment is determined by the relevant local planning process. ”

    It is likely that the amount of rent charged by the city council will remain a secret. It might be possible to lobby the council to enable Stagecoach to sub-let part of the site for a car boot sale?

    Link to the officer’s report on the application on the City Council website

  10. I havew read a couple of comments asking if anyone knows of a replacement of the Cowley Road Carboot sale. There hasn’t been any response to this. Please could somebody tell me if u have found a replacement site for this? You can mail me to if220 at Thankyou very much.

  11. i have heard that the boot sale may be moved to the trumpington park and ride site,has anybody else heard the same,i dont know how true this is

  12. I have also heard that the car boot may be moving to Trumpington, which would be great. I haven’t been able to find any confirmation of this though.

  13. Trumpington park and ride car boot is starting on the 23 may 2019. I saw this advertised in the Observer paper two weeks ago.

  14. Trumpington car boot did start last week. It was quite small, plus you had to pay £1 per adult to go in and look around…which received quite a few negative comments.

  15. I have been back again and they appear to have stopped charging people to look around…still small though.


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