HOPES of making car parking “free after three” in Felixstowe to help struggling traders have today been dashed.

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Labour councillors and businesses believed their campaign to make the town centre car parks free after 3pm would attract visitors to the resort and encourage mums to stay on after the school-run and shop during what traders say is a “dead” part of the day.

Chairman of Felixstowe Chamber of Trade, Andrew Rowdon said after lengthy discussions the idea had been rejected by Suffolk Coastal.

“I think it is a bit short-sighted. At the end of the day we need something to give our town centre a boost,” he said.

“I can understand the council would be losing revenue but I think there would be big benefits in getting more people to come to Felixstowe, getting more shops up and running. The money is in the pot – it’s a matter of how they use it.”

Suffolk Coastal cabinet member Andrew Nunn said: “We have given some serious consideration to the request by traders but while we are sympathetic to their requests, such a move cannot be afforded by this council at a time when like everyone else its finances are under severe pressure.

“Such a move in Felixstowe, and inevitably with requests then from across the rest of our district, would see a significant drop in our income from car parking, potentially to the equivalent of £80,000 in Felixstowe alone such is the current popularity of them at that time of day.

“The reality is that our town centre car parks are already well used and that our pricing is excellent value for money.”

5 comments

  • THE WAY THAT THE EAST SIDE OF IPSWICH SHOPPING FACILITIES IS GROWING FELIXSTOWE TOWN IS GOING TO LOOSE A LOT OF TRADE ( FREE PARKING TOO )

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    MIGUEL100

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • How much more evidence are we going to have that Suffok Coastal has no interest in Felixstowe as a proper town? The logic is that if Felixstowe's small businesses close, then more people will shop in Woodbridge. Anyone fancy doing a survey of the car parks to see just how busy they really are after 3pm?

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    happypam

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • I must admit I find the car parking prices in Felixstowe to be very reasonable and I don't really see that making them free would yield many more customers. In the current financial climate we are lucky that the prices are not being increased further. I do however have sympathy with the traders at this time and would recommend the town centre for shopping. Although it doesn't have the really big shops of IpswichNorwich there are some lovely unique shops which are well worth a visit!

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    Voice of Reason

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Felixstowe is just as much as a rund down "cesspit" like Ipswich. I am not surprised that anyone would want to shop in this hell hole.

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    the opinion man

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • I can’t see the logic behind this scheme to be honest. “encourage mums to stay on after the school-run”, parents (because fathers do it as well) just want to get home after school and don’t want to drag the children round town. If they are ‘stay at home parents’ then it makes sense to do these things, where possible, during the day when the children are not around. That aside, there are plenty of ‘free’ spaces in roads nearby if they don’t want to spend 50p - £1 to park in a car park. Late afternoon has always been a quite time in the town centre for as long as I can remember and I don’t think the promises of a 50p saving after 3pm is going to bring out shoppers in the dozens and certainly they are not going to travel from outside of the area just to benefit from the small saving when the cost of fuel would far outweigh it, but it is a nice idea. Whilst on the subject of ‘free parking’, I don’t really get the idea of the ‘free’ spaces in a couple of the towns carparks – they always seem to be full and there is always a queue of cars sitting in the middle of the carpark (clogging the system up) waiting for a space to become available. If you want the privilege of parking so you don’t have to walk very far then you need to pay, if you don’t want to pay then walk a little further and if you are unable to walk distances then you have the disabled badge and can park a lot nearer anyway.

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    Homeofstowe

    Thursday, December 13, 2012

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