�1m cost of closed Crown Street car park

IPSWICH: Borough chiefs spent �1million in the past four years trying to save the soon to be demolished Crown Street multi storey car park but admit its enforced closure will contribute to a loss of parking revenue of �500,000.

Graham Dines

IPSWICH: Borough chiefs spent �1million in the past four years trying to save the soon to be demolished Crown Street multi storey car park but admit its enforced closure will contribute to a loss of parking revenue of �500,000.

A report to next week's meeting of the council executive predicts that the reduction in an income from town centre car parks because of the recession is likely to increase as a result of Crown Street's closure.

“Managers had projected a reduction in income of �113,000 across all car parks,” says director Jonathan Owen. “In addition the closure of Crown car park and subsequent loss of income is of financial significance.


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“Since the car park has been closed, others nearby have shown increases in usage of up to 25 percent, which is anticipated to partially compensate, leaving a net reduction of �420,000.

“Overall this is a reduction of �533,000 in car park income.”

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Labour David Ellesmere described the council's handling of Crown Street as a “fiasco” and predicted that it would lead to a rise in next year's council tax bills.

“The true cost of the council's mismanagement of Crown Car Park is now becoming clear,” he said. “Not only will it make life more difficult for town centre retailers, but council tax payers are going to see higher bills or bigger cuts in services.”

The borough council's transport spokeswoman, Tanya de Hoedt, said: “We have �1 million over the past four years to extend the life of Crown car park to Summer 2010 and a decision on its replacement was due to be made this month, ensuring arrangements would be well in place for Christmas 2010.

“Unfortunately new problems were identified at a scheduled inspection in October, resulting in the closure of the car park on health and safety grounds significantly earlier than expected.”

Has the borough wasted its money on the Crown Car Park? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk >

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