Some Ipswich parking charges going up – but Christmas offers for shoppers

Prices are being kept down at the new Crown car park in Ipswich during the Christmas season. Picture

Prices are being kept down at the new Crown car park in Ipswich during the Christmas season. Picture: IPSWICH BOROUGH COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

Some car parking charges in Ipswich town centre are set to go up on Monday – but special offers are being extended to try to attract more shoppers over the Christmas period.

Ipswich council is putting up the hourly rate in many of its short-term town centre car parks by 10p from £1.20 an hour to £1.30.

However in the new Crown multi-storey car park the cost is to be frozen at £1 an hour into the new year to encourage more people to use it.

The council is also making its £2 after 2pm offer in all its car parks permanent – anyone who parks in an Ipswich council car park after 2pm pays the flat fee which can extend into the evening if they want to stay in town for a meal or a visit to the theatre or cinema.

Council Leader David Ellesmere said the borough’s parks still offered good value and the town had some of the cheapest parking around: “Our car parks are the best combination of price and quality in Ipswich and offer the most competitive rates of major towns in the region for shoppers, visitors to the town and commuters.

“It is a balancing act between offering cheap prices to customers and helping businesses on the one hand and raising income for hard-pressed council services on the other.”

He welcomed the fact that NCP had cut the prices at its Tower Ramparts park which is one of the smallest in the town – but had been the most expensive.

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“That car park was almost single-handedly responsible for some people seeing Ipswich as an expensive place to visit. I am delighted to see NCP following our lead and dropping prices.”

The borough has also frozen the £5 all day cost of parking at its long-stay car parks which are mainly in the Portman Road and Princes Street area of the town – and the West End Road park which is popular with rail passengers.

The hourly rate is just £1 and now season tickets can now be paid for on a monthly basis, with a Monday to Friday season ticket working out at £3.60 a day.

The borough is hoping its relatively cheap car parking combined with the opening of the Cornhill after its reconstruction which is due to be completed later next week should encourage Christmas shoppers to use the town centre.