Future of Ipswich car parking up to 2036 being assessed for new plan
- Credit: Archant
A new plan for the future of car parking in Ipswich up to 2036 is being worked on – which will include ideas for future car parks in the town.
Ipswich Borough Council has been working with Suffolk County Council on the new parking strategy, which aims to find out the level of demand for parking up to 2036.
In August, a report will be presented to the council's executive, which will then approve a parking plan to be drafted.
The council's forthcoming decisions list said that alongside the town's local plan it would "allocate sites for the development of new public car parks within the centre of Ipswich".
Council leader David Ellesmere said: "It's important to plan the future of parking, so this is looking at where car parks should be in the town centre, and we need to look at the quality of them as well.
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"It will be talking about broad areas in the town where we thinking we might need more or less. It's setting out a way forward."
Ipswich Borough Council operates a host of car parks across the town, while other operators such as NCP also have car parks.
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Last month, the council announced it would allow parking at its Crown Street car park for free for the first three hours on Sundays during the summer, to help bring people into the town centre.
Mr Ellesmere at the time said it had forced NCP to lower the "extortionate" prices it charged, and added: "When we took control of the council in 2011 the previous Conservative and Liberal Democrat administration had allowed the council's car parks to fall into a sorry state.
"Spiral Car Park had been privatised and Crown Car Park demolished.
"The council controlled so few spaces it could no longer influence the market.
"Private operators did not have to worry about the quality of their offer and could basically charge what they liked.
"Since 2011 we have followed a policy of increasing the number of spaces, improving the quality and reducing prices."
He referenced improvements to Elm Street and the Regent car park as examples of that work.
There has already been talk about creating a multi-storey car park in Portman Road, where the borough council owns most of the parking, although no firm plans have been made for that just yet.
Ipswich Borough Council's opposition Conservative group has been contacted for comment.