10:21 on November 16, 2021
Up to date:
13:05 16 November 2021
Festive shoppers in Ipswich have been given a boost with the introduction of free parking on Thursday night leading up to Christmas.
Visitors will be able to park for free after 1 p.m. 14 at the Ipswich Borough Council-run Crown car park in Charles Street every Thursday up to Christmas.
The free parking, which lasts until kl. 9.30pm, coincides with the city center’s late Christmas shopping time on Thursday starting this week.
The last day of free parking will be December 23rd.
The announcement of the weekly free parking has been welcomed by a number of independent retailers in and around the city center.
Steven Long, head of beer retailer Hopsters in St Nicholas Street, believed the offer would help boost trade due to the high price of parking in Ipswich.
He said: “Parking is a massive issue in this city with the price. We have departments in Chelmsford and Leigh-on-Sea, but parking there is so much cheaper.
“We are open Thursday night and hope for a busy Christmas. I think the council should implement that kind of thing more often.
“I hope people know about it – it’s a good idea.”
Dermot Gillespie of Music World in Queen Street added: “There are a few loading bays ahead, but you can not stay there long.
“It’s definitely something to help. It’s important that we have a Merry Christmas.”
Sarah Barber, Ipswich Borough Council’s portfolio holder for the city center, said: “This offer will help retailers and other businesses in the run-up to Christmas.
“Free parking after 2pm on these Thursdays will allow visitors on their way to the city center to shop locally, enjoy a meal or go to the theater and keep a little extra to buy their festive treats.”
Ipswich Borough Council has begun preparations for the Christmas season, when a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree was recently set up on Cornhill.
Although no traditional lighting event will be held this year, there are tickets for a drive-through of the city center under the festive lights on Sundays up to Christmas.