Shoppers head west in search of cheaper car parking

Shoppers head west in search of cheaper car parking

Paul Clement was speaking as his opposite number in Bury St Edmunds was trumpeting the fact that visitors could park all day in the town for 2.20.

Mr Clement is executive director of Ipswich Central, the Business Improvement District company set up to promote and develop the town centre.

He said: “I know that surveys show Ipswich is not out of kilter with towns and cities of a similar size, but there does need to be a look at car parking charges with a cheap jerseys view to making it easier and cheaper to park here.

“There is a perception that the town has more expensive parking, and it is no good ignoring that perception.”

However he remained bullish about what the town had to offer visitors over the summer.

“When you look at the events that are planned throughout the summer and at what the town has to offer, it should be a good summer.”

Meanwhile along the A14, Bid4Bury chief executive Mark Cordell said his town was trying to get the message across that parking in Bury St Edmunds was good value and that people could stay all day for just 2.20.

He said: “One of the things I hear time and time again from my members is that people always worry that they are going to over run on their parking time in the short stay areas.

“If you park in Ram Meadow or the Parkway, which are around a five minute walk from the shops and attractions, you have no such worry and it’s a very reasonable price.

Mr Cordell added: “If four people come to Bury by car and park in Ram Meadow or Parkway for the whole day it’s 55p each that’s not even the price of a first class stamp.

“I hope families will choose to come to Bury, do a bit of shopping, visit an attraction such as the Abbey Gardens or the Cathedral, have a nice lunch in town and really make the most of their day.”

In both towns there are a number of events during the summer.

The Bury St Edmunds Festival is already underway and runs until next Sunday, May 27. There are special events in the town over the Jubilee weekend and the Olympic torch will be passing through on July 7.

Ipswich’s IP Art Festival has been extended from two to four weeks this year. There are special celebrations for the Jubilee and the Olympic flame will be spending the night in the town on July 5/6.

Later in the summer there is the Ipswich Maritime Festival, and it will be the starting point for the Tour of Britain cycle race in September.

Borough economic development spokeswoman Carole Jones said: “Ipswich’s retail and cultural offer is very strong and while we admire Bury as a town, we are very different. Our huge range of cultural events for 2012 is unique to Suffolk indeed to the region.

“We have a month long Ip art festival, Doctor Who, Maritime Ipswich, the Olympic Torch Relay celebrations, the Regent Theatre, Tour of Britain and much more. All of these events will help shops as well as pubs and restaurants.”

“There is a perception that the town has more expensive parking, and it is no good ignoring that perception.” This makes it sound like the “perception” is a false notion however, it is actually a fact. I visit towns regularly in the area from Ipswich to London and am often surprised at how less expensive parking is than in Ipswich. Also, often I need a small item but will not pay for parking in Ipswich to buy it; if I cannot find nearby free parking then I wait until I am somewhere else. With parking in Ipswich often near 2 per hour, it does not make financial sense to park for small amounts of shopping. It is often said that out of town shopping centres are killing Ipswich Town Centre but in fact the high cost of parking within the town centre is handing success to out of town stores.

Its not a “perception” that ipswich has expensive parking its a fact as anyone who has parked here will know!! Ipswich is so expensive for parking compared to other local towns within a sensible driving distance and once you get into the town there are very few shops worth visiting anyway BuryWoodbridgeFelixstoweColchester to name a few are all so much better, with cheaper parking and much better shops its worth the extra drive to avoid ipswich! If ipswich wants to attract shoppers it needs better shops and cheaper parking doesnt take a genius to figure that out surely.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *