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Borough council proposes to freeze car park prices in Ipswich to 'support town centre economy'




A borough council says it is 'continuing to support' its retailers as it plans to freeze its car parking charges for the next 12 months.

Officials at Ipswich Borough Council said, despite the authority's revenue from parking falling because of the pandemic, the cost saving measures introduced last year have meant it is able to fund this proposal.

If the plans are agreed at the council's executive meeting next Tuesday, the price of parking at its long stay car parks will remain at £1 an hour, while short-stay car parks will stay at £1.30 an hour, with a special offer of £1 for the first hour at Crown car park.

Crown car park, Ipswich. Picture: Ipswich Borough Council
Crown car park, Ipswich. Picture: Ipswich Borough Council

Councillor Martin Cook, portfolio holder for resources at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “2020/21 has been hugely challenging financially and we made some really tough decisions in 2020/21 to ensure that the council maintained its financial position.

"Those tough decisions have paid off and – although the financial climate caused by Covid is still challenging – we are now in a position where we confirm that it is our intention to support the town centre economy by freezing our car park prices for the next year.

“This means, as an example of our prices, that the hourly rate in our main short stay car parks will remain at £1.30 an hour (with a special offer of £1 for the first hour at Crown) – this is nearly 20 per cent less than the £1.70 an hour that was being charged a decade ago when we first took control of the council.”

Ipswich Borough Council. Picture by Mark Westley
Ipswich Borough Council. Picture by Mark Westley

It comes after business leaders blasted West Suffolk Council's decision to hike the costs of parking in the area, with one describing it as a 'real kick in the teeth' for retailers.

As of next month, drivers in Newmarket, Haverhill and Bury St Edmunds, who because of the coronavirus pandemic have so far been spared the rises which have been in the pipeline since the beginning of last year, will have to pay more to park.

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