Ipswich hits back at claims parking is costly for Christmas shopping

The Ipswich Borough Council long-stay car park in Portman Road - you can park here for �1 an hour. P

The Ipswich Borough Council long-stay car park in Portman Road - you can park here for �1 an hour. Picture : JASON NOBLE - Credit: Archant

Officials in Ipswich have hit back at claims that the town’s car parks are too expensive after the spotlight was shone on the most expensive park in the town – which is also one of the smallest.

Tower Ramparts Car Park. NCP charges �3.50 an hour here. Picture: GREG BROWN

Tower Ramparts Car Park. NCP charges �3.50 an hour here. Picture: GREG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

The borough council, which runs most of the car parks in Ipswich town centre, said its parks cost less than in nearby large towns and cities – costing about a third of the prices quoted in the recent publicity. The battle for Christmas shoppers makes parking charges crucial.

The borough has 1,700 car parking spaces in Ipswich town centre. The maximum these cost is £1.20 an hour – and people arriving after 2pm can park for the rest of the day for £2. Long stay car parks charge £1 an hour.

The most expensive car park in the town centre is the NCP park in Tower Ramparts. Its 103 spaces charge £3.50 an hour, £10 for three hours and £25 for anyone who wants to park there all day.

It is also one of the most popular parks. Drivers often queue to get in, even though there are spaces at cheaper car parks nearby – but that has not stopped some drivers from using social media to complain about Ipswich’s parking prices based on this park.

Charges for the NCP Tower Ramparts car park. Picture: ARCHANT

Charges for the NCP Tower Ramparts car park. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant


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Deputy council leader Bryony Rudkin said: “If visitors to the town centre shop around they will soon discover that our own car parks offer a very competitive tariff of just £1.20 an hour or less. You do not have to pay more. We also offer free parking after 8pm.

“No large town or city has the same prices in all its car parks and I think people understand that. Ipswich is not an expensive place to park and we hope that message gets across. You can get all the information at www.ipswich.gov.uk/parking.”

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Council car parks in Colchester cost slightly more than Ipswich for short stays but longer stays can be cheaper on weekdays and Sundays – but charge more on Saturdays.

Parking in Bury St Edmunds is cheaper – but the shopping centre is not as large as it is in Ipswich although many people like the atmosphere of Suffolk’s Cathedral town.

Bryony Rudkin. Picture: SU ANDERSON

Bryony Rudkin. Picture: SU ANDERSON - Credit: Su Anderson

In Norwich car parks operated by the city council cost £1.80 an hour – and reach a ceiling of £6 after four hours.

And in Cambridge, which has some of the most expensive city centre car parks in the region, car parks charge £2 or more an hour. Both Norwich and Cambridge have long-established park and ride operations.

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