Ipswich council car park to offer free Sunday parking this summer
- Credit: Archant
Free Sunday parking is to be offered at Ipswich’s Crown Car Park in a bid to boost town centre footfall during a challenging time for the town’s retail sector.
The offer of three hours of free parking every Sunday from June 23 to September 1 at the facility behind Crown Pools, in Claude Street, comes after retailers have complained about a lack of footfall in the town centre.
Ipswich Borough Council, which is behind the move at the multi-storey, which also has a £1 per hour short stay offer, says it is designed to encourage visitors to see the town's attractions, including the Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk trail this summer.
Councillor Sarah Barber, whose portfolio covers the town centre, said: "We are introducing a special offer at Crown Car Park to encourage people into the town centre.
"The first three hours parking on Sundays during the summer will be absolutely free.
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"This means people can come in, do some shopping, have a coffee or a meal, head to the museum or mansion, follow the exciting Elmer trail or simply have a stroll while keeping extra money in their pockets."
The move was welcomed by Paul Grant of the Press Start Gaming Lounge in Princes Street.
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Mr Grant said: "The summer holiday is when we'll do a lot more business, so this is great news.
"We host an autism-friendly day every other Sunday and the parents are always telling us that parking is killing them, so that will be a big help."
However Heidi Longman, owner of Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, said: "It really should be every Sunday.
"At the moment our Monday takings can be more than our Sunday takings."
She added: "Everyone's already back at work on a Monday, that isn't right.
"We have been in Tavern Street for over 10 years, why has it taken them this long to do something about this?"
A number of shops have recently announced their closure in Ipswich, including jewellers Rily and Riley, stationary shop Ohh Deer and camping stores Cotswolds Outdoor and Trespass.
Speaking to this paper earlier this month, Ipswich Central chief executive Paul Clement called for a "new approach" to the nation's high street as declining footfall and online shopping habits squeeze traditional retailers.