Parking permits set to increase for over 2,000 residents in Ipswich

Congested parking in Christchurch Street, covered by Residents' Parking Zone 3 in Ipswich. Picture:

Congested parking in Christchurch Street, covered by Residents' Parking Zone 3 in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

Ipswich Borough Council (IBC) is set to increase the price of annual residents’ parking permits from £35 to £40 to boost revenue after years of making a loss in the scheme.

David Ellesmere, borough council leader, defended the proposed increases by insisting the prices still represent “value for money”. It is the first increase in eight years and is below inflation.

Mr Ellesmere said: “We have a duty to ensure that the residents’ parking scheme breaks even which it isn’t doing at the moment. These increases will make sure the scheme does break even.

“It will still be cheaper in real terms than it was eight years ago and it will be cheaper than comparable residents’ parking schemes in surrounding towns.”

Parking permits in Bury St Edmunds range from £59 to £76, an IBC report states. It is £52 to £81 in Cambridge, £62 in Colchester, and £21.60 to £49.80 in Norwich.

A total of 2,166 residents’ parking permits are issued across four zones around Ipswich town centre, covering Alexandra, Gipping, Holywells, St. Margaret’s, and Westgate wards.

The proposed changes, to be discussed at a council meeting on Tuesday, would come into effect in February 2018.

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Mr Ellesmere added: “I still think it is very good value for money. It is £40 a year, which is less than a pound a week, to give yourself a better chance of parking in front of your house.

“There is a shortage of parking spaces in main residential areas, even if every house just had one car.

“Residents’ parking permits are only brought in when the majority of residents support it, and they usually do as without it, streets get clogged up by commuters, shoppers and so on.”

The council is set to spend £176,000 on the scheme in 2017/18, set against a predicted income of £172,000. The changes would come into effect in February 2018, and the scheme would break even for the council from 2018/19 onwards.

Under the proposals, a second residents’ parking permit would rise from £60 to £70 until the end of 2019 and £80 from January 2020 onwards, excluding zone two (St. Margaret’s and Westgate).

Business permits will remain at £200.

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