More Good News for Town Centre Residents and Visitors
Today I have announced more good news for residents and visitors to Reading town centre. The Borough Council has responded to feedback by removing overnight charges on Pay and Display bays. On 17 January I will take a report to Cabinet to seek my colleagues’ agreement to restrict pay and display charges to the hours of 8am to 8pm.
In October this year we introduced a trial of Pay and Display parking in the town centre. The scheme itself and all public comments have been closely monitored since its introduction. A total of 196 pay and display bays, serviced by 31 solar powered Pay and Display machines, are located across the town centre. Some additional Pay and Display bays have been created where there were once yellow lines. In total, there are 8,000 parking spaces serving the Town Centre.
The move means Town Centre residents with little or no parking facilities at their properties will be able to use the Pay and Display to park ‘on-street’ for free from 8pm onwards. These residents are however reminded they will need to move their vehicles before the bays become operational again at 8am the following morning.
It also means that late night visitors will be able to park for free in Pay and Display bays from 8pm onwards, taking full advantage of all the town centre facilities without having to rush back to their vehicles before their two hour maximum stay is reached.
The changes have been put forward to make the scheme even more flexible for residents, to make visiting the town centre easier for everyone and to benefit the town centre economy. Relevant changes to signage will be made before the revised scheme is introduced.
It should be noted the change in hours of operation of Pay and Display apply only to those bays which were previously in operation 24/7. They do not apply to Pay and Display bays located within residents parking zones, where the hours of operation will continue to be 10am to 4pm.
When the pay and display scheme was introduced I stated then that it was an experiment. Evidence suggests that while daytime charges have generally been accepted, overnight charges have caused some problems for a small number of residents and businesses. Unlike Labour when they were in office locally, we have listened to feedback and adapted to meet the needs of local people. Together with the freeze in short-term car parking charges announced last week, this change ensures that town centre visitors and businesses are supported by the Council.
Today I also announced that there will be no charges in Pay and Display Bays on Christmas Day – starting at midnight on Christmas Eve (00.00hrs December 25), until Midnight on Boxing Day (00.00hrs December 26). Notices will be placed on all Pay and Display machines to this effect.