Cheap parking coming to town

TOWN chiefs are bidding to provide a welcome boost to Ipswich traders by slashing parking costs at the 1,000 space Crown Street multi-storey by up to a tenner.

TOWN chiefs are bidding to provide a welcome boost to Ipswich traders by slashing parking costs at the 1,000 space Crown Street multi-storey by up to a tenner.

In a pilot scheme that will run in January and February next year the flat rate for using the town centre car park on a Saturday or Sunday will be trimmed to just £2.

It can currently cost up to £12 to park there for a day.

The move is an attempt to help traders in Ipswich town centre, many of whom are feeling the effects of the credit crunch and the general downturn in the economy.

It is part of a raft of changes in tariffs at council car parks that will see many prices hiked upwards - generating an extra £100,000 for council coffers each year.

Paul West, responsible for transport at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “The period in January and February is traditionally a quiet time for traders.

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“Hopefully this will encourage more people to visit the town centre and use the shops during these months.

“We are keen to do whatever we can do and will look to extend the scheme if it proves successful.”

The news is a timely boost for town centre traders amid the current economic downturn and fears of an imminent global recession.

However on the flipside the council has agreed to increase charges at other car parks, increasing on street pay and display prices from 90 pence for 30 minutes to £1 and £1.70 for one hour to £1.80.

Meanwhile the 30 minute band has been removed from the Crown Street multi-storey car park with hourly charges increasing by 10 pence and up to six hours going up by 50p.

Charges for the authority's Waterfront car park will also go up.

The first four hours is currently free but will cost £1 while all day parking will rise from £1 to £1.70.

The Council has just signed a new lease with UCS for continued use of this car park, and it is expected to remain in charge for at least another year prior to the site being developed by the university.

Mr West said the increases are vital in ensuring the council is financed to provide important services.

“It would be wonderful if we could provide free parking but council tax would be significantly higher if that were the case.”

The changes will come into effect in January next year.

What do you think about the pricing changes? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk