Parking price war breaks out in Ipswich as NCP cuts Tower Ramparts fee

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

A parking price war is about to break out in Ipswich as the town’s new Crown multi-storey car park nears completion.

Tower Ramparts Car Park. NCP owned. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Tower Ramparts Car Park. NCP owned. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

National Car Parks has announced that its Tower Ramparts site behind Marks and Spencer – notorious as the most expensive car park in the town, if not the whole of Suffolk – is to have its charges slashed for the summer.

The news comes as Ipswich Council prepares to open its new Crown car park on the opposite side of the road with 540 extra spaces.

NCP is cutting the cost of parking in Tower Ramparts from £3.50 an hour to £1 an hour for six weeks from next Monday. Parking for three hours will be cut by half to just £5.00.

The company is also extending and reducing its evening rate, meaning that customers can now park from 3pm until 8am the next morning for just three pounds at the 103-space car park.

NCP Business Manager Scott Morgan said he hoped the move would attract more shoppers and visitors to the town centre: “We are delighted to be able to make such a drastic reduction to our prices to save shoppers money and boost other local businesses in the town centre.

“Depending on how the new tariffs are received, we hope to be able to keep them at the lower rate on a permanent basis.”

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No date has yet been given for the opening of the Crown Car Park, but it should be in operation by “early summer”. Officials at the borough hope it is ready to use next month. It is expected to charge the borough’s “standard” fee of £1.20 an hour or £2 for unlimited time after 2pm.

Borough leader David Ellesmere said: “I am delighted to hear about the price cut from NCP, I don’t really care why they are doing it.

“That one car park (Tower Ramparts) is, I believe, solely responsible for the totally unjustified reputation Ipswich has among some people for expensive car parking – so I am really pleased they are cutting these massive parking fees.”

Sophie Alexander from the Ipswich Central BID team added: “We would like to thank NCP for taking this bold move.

“The significantly lower parking prices at its Tower Ramparts car park will benefit residents, shoppers and visitors alike and encourage more people to stay in the town centre longer, giving the local economy a welcome boost.”

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