Parking boost for Ipswich? Money to be pumped into making Crown car park a multi-storey once again

David Ellesmere at Crown car park

David Ellesmere at Crown car park

A town centre car park in Ipswich looks set to become a multi-storey building again within the year.

Ipswich Borough Council is to include the cost of putting up a new deck on the town’s Crown car park in next year’s budget and will also carry out a feasibility study into building extra floors to offer dedicated spaces for office workers during weekdays.

The original 600-space Crown car park was built in 1974 but within 10 years it was diagnosed with “concrete cancer” – the steel supports inside the construction started to rust and it needed regular maintenance.

In 2009 it was beyond repair and had to be closed and demolished, leaving just a 200-space surface car park.

A further 200 spaces would be created by a single new platform, but further floors would need a commitment from the town’s business community.

Borough council leader David Ellesmere said: “There is clearly a business case to double the size of the car park. If it is going to get larger, it becomes considerably more expensive. The higher you go the cost increases much faster.

“Therefore we need to know there would be a demand for some contract parking from businesses to make it worthwhile – that will be subject to a feasibility study.”

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The surface car park remains one of the most popular in Ipswich and its £1 an hour fee and “Quids In” £1 flat fee after 3pm have proven successful.

Mr Ellesmere said the work at the car park would also include resurfacing the current floor and making it the flagship car park for the town. The revelation comes as the Conservatives launched their manifesto for improved parking and Mr Ellesmere said the borough was keen to work with the county to provide better information about the town’s car parks.

He said: “We have money put aside to install the technology, which would allow the spaces in our parks to be advertised on signs coming into town.

“I look forward to the county putting up such signs and making the town’s car parks more accessible to shoppers.”

For more on when the car park is due to open, see update here