Bid to save trade after car park closure

IPSWICH: Initiatives to limit the damage to Christmas trade following the closure of Crown Car Park have today been rubber-stamped.

IPSWICH: Initiatives to limit the damage to Christmas trade following the closure of Crown Car Park have today been rubber-stamped.

Several proposals have been approved by Ipswich Borough Council's executive committee in a bid to ensure visitors continue to come to the town for their festive shopping.

Council chiefs have decided to permanently close the 1,001-space car park, which has been riddled with problems since the 1980s, after engineers discovered “concrete cancer” in the structure.

Although there are spaces for 1,001 cars, a council spokesman said there was an average of only 400 daily users.

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The action plan to ease parking problems includes extending a free shuttle service, stopping at various spots around the town, until 10pm on Thursday late-night shopping evenings - of which the first of five will take place on November 19 - and between 9am and 6pm on Saturdays.

The service, which runs every 20 minutes, will now also stop at the Portman Road and Ipswich Village car parks.

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A new 20-space car park is to be created in Bond Street and the borough will be looking at any applications for temporary car parks.

It is not yet known when the demolition will take place, but there are hopes of salvaging the ground floor to create a car park for 250 to 350 spaces next year.

Paul Clement, executive director of Ipswich Central, which represents more than 700 businesses across the town, said: “Ipswich Central has worked closely with Ipswich Borough Council over the last few weeks to see if there was any opportunity to open the car park temporarily over the busy Christmas period.

“It is regrettable that this has not been possible, although public safety must come first and we, therefore, understand the reasons why the decision has been taken.

“In our role representing town centre businesses we must now continue working with Ipswich Borough Council and other transport providers on a creative solution that increases the appeal of Ipswich over the important Christmas trading period.”

What do you think of these ideas to compensate for the car park closing? rite to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN

Your comments:

Norman castles and cathedrals 1,000-years-old and still standing. 1960s concrete eyesore needs to be demolished. They don't make them like they used to!

Newsmaster Excalibur

How hard would it be to knock it down, then rebuild it on the same site but do it properly? I think that if flats or anything else appears on that site other than a new multi-story carpark then there is something dodgy going on. Can't wait until we see the results!

Matt McKenzie

I'm sorry but I wont be shopping in Ipswich town centre any more and I live in Ipswich. It is hard enough to park on a Saturday and we always used this car park.

Concerned Resident

We lose 1001 spaces but 20 spaces will be created at Bond Street. Wow! That compensates for the loss, doesn't it!

Kenny M

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