Anger growing over car parking problems at Ipswich railway station

Commuters are frustrated by problems at Ipswich station car park. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Commuters are frustrated by problems at Ipswich station car park. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

Commuters using Ipswich railway station face long queues to get out of the official station multi-storey car park after its ticket machines broke down.

It can take up to 20 minutes to get out of the NCP-operated park because the machines no longer take credit cards – and don’t accept some new coins and notes.

The parking company operates the car park on behalf of Greater Anglia – although the rail company will be taking over responsibility for the machines later in the year.

Commuter Brett Lorge said the machines had not accepted cards since May and a member of staff had to take credit card payments as passengers returned to their vehicles, meaning long queues built up.

He said: “Despite numerous complaints and escalations neither company will communicate a fix date and / or lower prices for the parking given the current mess. In fact they increased prices this year.

“With all the train delays to and from London this year this adds to commuter misery.”

Other commuters have also said that the parking problems adds stress to their day.

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A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said they would take over the overall management of the car park at the start of next year – although NCP would continue to manage it on a day-to-day basis. The rail company would be responsible for installing new machines.

She said: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused at Ipswich station car park. We recognise the problems and are working with NCP to provide the best possible service until new machinery is installed later in the year.

“NCP has a member of staff at the site from 10.00 to 22.00 every day, and a second person on-site between 17.00 and 20.00 every weekday, to help people use the machines, and provide card machines. Two members of NCP staff are also at the car park on match days when Ipswich Town is at home.

“We aim to install new machines and Automatic Number Plate Recognition at the car park by the end of the year.”

Many drivers now prefer to use the borough council car parks at West End Road and Portman Road as an alternative because they are cheaper and although they are a five-minute walk away, it is possible to leave them straight away because they are pay and display operations.