BY JOSH WARWICK
Thursday, January 3, 2013
SHOPPERS in the town have been given a new year boost after the borough announced an extension to its cheap pre-Christmas parking tariffs.
The £1 per hour rate will now apply to all council-owned town centre car parks in a bid to boost trade for retailers and other businesses.
The borough council slashed parking fees last year at Crown Car Park to a quid per hour for up to five hours.
Just before Christmas, the new Regent Theatre car park was opened at the bottom of Woodbridge Road with the same £1 per hour tariff for up to three hours.
In both car parks, entry is free after 8pm. Now, the trial period is being extended.
And in addition, from Monday, the same £1 per hour rate (with a three-hour maximum stay) will now apply to William Street car park (next to Crown Pools), Bond Street, and Upper Barclay Street (next to Cox Lane).
Councillor David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said: “In these tough economic times businesses need all the help they can get so we have taken this radical decision to boost town centre retailers.
“Since we introduced the lower tariff in Crown Street we have seen a big increase in usage.
“Although we cannot control the tariffs charged by private operators, there are signs that they are starting to follow our lead.
“Our town centre car parks now offer much cheaper deals than Norwich and Colchester.”
Speaking after the announcement in December that parking fees would be reduced in the run up to Christmas, Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement welcomed the move, adding: “With these offers Ipswich parking is the cheapest in the region and there are many other attractions to bring people here.”