Price for Ipswich short stay car parks rises to £1.30 per hour

Ipswich's new Crown Car Park is nearing completion. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Ipswich's new Crown Car Park is nearing completion. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

Short stay car park prices in Ipswich will go up by 10p per hour, it has been decided – with parking now 30p more expensive than two years ago.

Ipswich Borough Council’s executive met this evening where its annual car park review took place and price increase from £1.20-£1.30 per hour was agreed.

The previous review saw charges jump from £1 to £1.20 per hour on short stay sites.

But council bosses have said that the trial £2 after 2pm scheme, which was put in place to help businesses and bring people into town later in the day, will continue as a permanent fixture.

Prices at long stay car parks have been frozen at £1 per hour or £5 all day rate.

Council leader David Ellesmere said: “Ipswich Borough Council’s car parks continue to offer the best value car parking in Ipswich and we offer the most competitive rates of major towns in the region.

“Most of our prices will remain the same and short-stay customers will still pay 40p less an hour than in 2011.

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“In addition, they can still take advantage of our £2 after 2pm offer, which gives motorists up to 18 hours parking for just a couple of pounds during the week.

“We want to carry on supporting town centre shops, theatres, cinemas and restaurants by ensuring people can afford to come into town.”

Portfolio holder Phil Smart said the increase was as a result of the income targets set in the council’s budget.

The new 500-space Crown multi-storey car park is due to open in the coming weeks, with the council confirming it will have a £1 per hour introductory rate upon opening, although it is not clear how long this will go on for.

Council chiefs also said that systems to pay for parking by mobile will be rolled out later in the year, that will not feature an additional cost for motorists.

But opposition Conservative councillors at the council have called for a two tier system which charges Ipswich residents less than those coming into the town from outside.

Ian Fisher, Conservative leader, said: “I am quite disappointed at the lack of variation in the car parking.

“It’s the Ipswich taxpayers that are paying for it and it’s about time they saw some return for their investment.”

He added: “We also have an idea to encourage shoppers into the town to use Ipswich shops and in the town centre car parks you could mirror what they do at Cardinal Park.

“Maybe you could operate a scheme where if [you shopped with] the independent retailers you could get the price of your car parking refunded.”

Name changes

Alongside the changes to the parking prices, several car parks will also change their name to help make people more aware of car parks available.

The car park on the former Co-op site will be called Upper Orwell Street (North) while the smaller car park next to it, which is currently known as Upper Barclay Street car park will become Upper Orwell Street (South) car park.

With several borough council-operated car parks in Portman Road, name changes aim to simplify which car park is which there as well.

The four car parks – known currently as Portman Road, Great Gipping Street, New Portman Road and New Portman Road Extension will now become Portman Road A and Portman Road B etc.

The final change will happen at the South Street car park close to Norwich Road, which will be renamed as Norwich Road Shoppers car park.