Ipswich/Colchester: Towns go head-to-head in parking battle

TWO of the largest towns in the region are preparing for parking wars as they battle for shoppers during the run-up to Christmas.

Colchester has announced it is to cut the price of parking in one of the town’s largest multi-storeys, while bosses at Ipswich insist it is still the cheapest large town for car parking in the region.

Colchester Borough Council announced this week that its St Mary’s car park with 617 spaces was cutting its prices by more than ten per cent from November 14.

However a borough council spokesman said an hour at St Mary’s after the reductions would cost �1.80 – 80p more than the same time at the Crown Car Park.

He said: “We still have very good parking offers here in Ipswich. It is the cheapest of the large towns in the area and I am sure people will use the parks during the Christmas period.”

At Colchester, the council is also hoping to encourage shoppers. A spokeswoman said: “As has happened in our other car parks, the new St Mary’s rates are sure to attract even more residents and visitors from neighbouring towns to choose Colchester and our car parks for their Christmas shopping and celebrations, and for days or evenings out year-round.”

Paul Clement of Ipswich Central said it was vital to offer good value parking. “It is ridiculous to think you can have a growing town centre while trying to keep cars away.

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“Ipswich has some good offers – but there’s still a lot more to do and we have to make the point to car park operators that if you lower the prices and get more motorists using the park, it is good for the operator and good for the economy of the town as a whole.”

Is parking too pricey in Ipswich? E-mail starnews@archant.co.uk