Ipswich: Former park and ride site could get new use

Old Bury Road, park and ride site, Ipswich

Old Bury Road, park and ride site, Ipswich - Credit: Archant

Ipswich council hopes to have found a new use for the Bury Road park and ride site on the edge of town – but is not ruling out its re-opening in the future.

It has applied for planning permission for part of the site to be converted into a depot for commercial vehicle hire.

The borough owns the site – but leased it to the county council which operated the park and ride service.

However that closed in early 2011 as part of the controversial county council spending cuts that were introduced that year.

The new Labour administration that was elected to run the borough in May 2011 had hoped to look at whether buses could return to the site – however at that stage the county retained the lease on the site and it was keen to do all it could to boost the viability of the other two park and ride sites.

Earlier this year the borough took back control of the land and had looked at the possibility of reintroducing services when the council-owned Ipswich Buses won back the contract to operate park and ride.

However this proved impossible, and the borough has now applied to itself for a change of use for part of the park and ride site.

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It would become a depot for commercial vehicle hire and would have a wash-down area to ensure vehicles are cleaned before they are rented out.

There would be a new access from the former bus route to the centre and there would be changes to the surface of the car park.

The planning application was formally lodged in early December, and people have until 20 January to make any representations about the proposal.

However the borough’s transport spokesman Phil Smart said the changes would not prevent it being reopened as a park and ride centre in the future.

He said: “I understand the lease we are negotiating will allow us to break it at short notice if it is possible to reopen the park and ride – and the changes will be easy to reverse if necessary.

“We still see re-opening the park and ride centre as an aspiration for the future.”