Ipswich: Quids In success hailed as thousands flock to town

Business leaders and councillors came together to launch Quids In.

Business leaders and councillors came together to launch Quids In. - Credit: Archant

Thousands of extra visitors have flocked to Ipswich since the “Quids In” scheme for cheap parking was introduced at the start of September.

Now pressure is mounting to keep it running to Christmas and beyond.

The promotion gives drivers unlimited parking after 3pm in borough and some NCP car parks in the town for £1, and a £1 fare on Ipswich Buses and Park and Ride services into the town after 3pm. The offers apply to weekdays only.

New figures released by the borough council show that during the first three weeks an extra 2,000 drivers used the borough’s four main car parks.

And, surprisingly, it found that the number of cars using the parks between 2pm and 3pm – before the reduced charges apply – has also increased by 300.

Overall, more than 6,000 extra customers used borough’s car parks throughout the day since the campaign started on September 2.

Borough leader David Ellesmere hinted that the authority could consider continuing with the initiative after it is due to come to an end on November 15.

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Retailers and other town centre businesses are desperate to attract shoppers and those seeking to enjoy the festivities during the run-up to Christmas.

Mr Ellesmere said: “The initial results are very positive. We will continue to review the financial implications and talk to our partners.

“We cannot say yet what will happen after the trial period but all options are open at this stage.”

The Quids In message also appears to be spreading. The third week saw nearly 1,000 extra customers in four car parks after 3pm, compared to an increase of 655 in the first week of operation.