Bosses at Ipswich council have insisted it offers good value for money in its car parks - despite complaints that high fees put shoppers off.

The borough runs many of the car parks in the town centre - with others run by private companies, mainly NCP.

The cost of parking across most of the town centre is similar between the council parks and those run by NCP. 

However to get NCP's best prices drivers need to have the company's parking app on their phone - casual users have to pay much more than the cost of council car park.

The cost of parking was raised by Ipswich MP Tom Hunt in his column last week, but Ipswich council deputy leader Bryony Rudkin - who is responsible for car park policy - said they offered good value.

Ipswich Star: Bryony Rudkin defended the borough's parking fees.Bryony Rudkin defended the borough's parking fees. (Image: Ipswich Borough Council)

She said: "If you compare the cost of parking with Norwich or Cambridge city centres then Ipswich is cheaper - and the revenue from car parking is very important to the council. It helps to pay for the services we offer."

The borough's most expensive car park is Cromwell Square off St Nicholas Street which charges £2.20 for the first hour - but most council car parks charge £1.50.

Mrs Rudkin said: "Cromwell Square is very central and is quite well used by people wanting to make a short visit for a specific purpose like visiting the hairdresser - but if you want to spend longer in the town there are cheaper parks not far away."

Mr Hunt said that in a survey of constituents, many had mentioned the cost of parking as a deterrent to them visiting the town centre - although it was not as important to them as other factors like anti-social or illegal behaviour or the number of empty shops.