Copdock Park and Ride centre up for sale after Ipswich service changes
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Just weeks after the Ipswich Park and Ride service was relaunched with a new service run by First Eastern Counties, part of its site at Copdock Mill has been put up for sale.
The park and ride centre, including the toilets and waiting area, has been put up for sale with estate agents Savills.
The council is also offering about 100 of the 400 car parking spaces at the centre for sale with the centre.
The sale details make it clear that the Park and Ride service would continue if the site is sold – and the county is looking to conclude a deal by September 15.
A spokesman for the council said they were trying to find out what demand there was for a business to take over the site which could be used as a shop, a cafe or another retail unit linked to the park and ride service.
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He said: “We really want to make Ipswich Park and Ride sustainable so customers can continue to use it for years to come.
“That’s why we’re looking to see if there are any commercial opportunities at the Copdock site. The Park and Ride service will be continuing.
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“There are no plans to sell any part of the site at Martlesham.”
However the proposed sale was condemned by the leader of the opposition Labour group at the county council, Sandra Gage, who said it could be another nail in the coffin for the park and ride – especially if there was no indoor waiting area.
She said: “We have seen the county council cut the subsidy to the park and ride and a new operator come in running it with fewer buses.
“They have diverted their money to the shuttle bus to support this, but now they are talking about getting rid of the Copdock centre. How sustainable is that? How many people will want to use it in the winter if there is no shelter while you’re waiting longer for a bus?”
The park and ride centres used to be staffed while the services were operating, but that is no longer the case since first took after the operation.
In other towns and cities some park and ride centres do include cafes or convenience stores – and in some cities there is nothing but a rudimentary shelter which can be very uninviting during winter months.