Car park future in doubt for Christmas

IPSWICH: With the future of the biggest car park in Ipswich in doubt town centre managers are today working on alternatives in the busy run up to Christmas.

IPSWICH: With the future of the biggest car park in Ipswich in doubt town centre managers are today working on alternatives in the busy run up to Christmas.

On Thursday, November 19 the first of five late night shopping dates will give people the chance to lap up the Christmas spirit while shopping for presents.

But after the closure of the Crown Car Park for emergency structural assessment and work, contingency plans are being drawn up to encourage people into Ipswich.

As the town's Christmas shopping scheme was launched Paul Clement, executive director of Ipswich Central said town centre bosses are still hoping the car park may reopen in time for the Christmas rush.

He said in the last week the closure has appeared to have little impact on people visiting the town centre but warned the problems could come with the onset of late night shopping.

“People have drifted elsewhere, parking in other parts of the town, biking, walking, getting the bus in, or making use of the park and ride schemes,” he said.

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“Our concerns as the town centre management team are the potential problems around late night shopping if it has not reopened by then. We remain very hopeful it will reopen in part at least if not all of it.”

Richard Atkins, Ipswich Borough Councillor and portfolio holder for economic development said: “We are looking at a number of possibilities, there are spaces at Portman Road, there are a number of relatively new car parks, not necessarily borough owned, near to the Waterfront and we have the park and ride services.”

IPSWICH: An examination of the Crown Street multi-storey car park identified problems with two ramps in the top half of the building, it emerged today.

Ipswich Borough Council said the car park would remain closed until a detailed report from its structural engineering contractors had been considered.

An issue with the first ramp was discovered during a routine maintenance and forced the immediate closure of the 1,001-space building last week.

The problem with the second ramp came to light in a subsequent investigation.

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council said a final decision on whether to re-open the car park would not be made until the middle of next week.

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