Richard Willis's Blog

First for local news and first for comment

Most Town Centre Car Park Charges Frozen or Cut

Reading motorists and visitors to the town are set to benefit from a New Year freeze of short stay car parking charges in the town centre.

Today we announced the outcome of the annual review of car parking charges. From Tuesday January 4th the Council will freeze short stay car park charges in the town centre at Broad Street Mall, Queens Road and the public ‘car park B’ of the Civic Offices.

As well as benefiting the many residents and visitors who drive into the town centre, it is hoped that the price freeze in short term charges will provide a welcome boost to town centre businesses by encouraging even more shoppers into the town.

As well as the above freezes, long stay charges in Hills Meadow car park are set to be cut significantly from £12 a day to just £5 a day. Charges will also fall significantly at Kings Meadow car park from £12 for a day’s parking to £7. Cattle Market car park will also available now at a new rate of just £4 a day, again down from £12. Some medium stay charges will increase, as some charging bands are abolished. However, all these charges offer good value for money for longer stay shoppers and commuters alike.

Outside the town centre, parking at the local car parks at Chester Street,Caversham and at Recreation Road and Dunstall Close in Tilehurst will all remain frozen at 2010 prices, benefiting residents who want to drop into local businesses to do their shopping, and again providing a boost for local traders.

The new car parking charges are intended to complement the existing Park and Ride services available in Reading, offering more choice to visitors and residents alike.

These car parks are managed by NCP under a contract with the Council and it was the result of some tough negotiations that the charges have been largely frozen or cut. The original proposals that came to me included some sizeable increases in short-term charges and in the Caversham and Tilehurst car parks. After Labour’s very large (averaging about 15%) increases in charges implemented earlier this year I was keen to ensure that those using our town centre and outlying car parks were not hit hard once again.

The freezing of short stay charges and the cut in long stay charges in the town centre will be good news for many people, and the freezing of all charges in the local centre car parks will help to ensure that the small traders in those areas are supported.

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December 6, 2010 - Posted by | Local

9 Comments »

  1. Good news (or at least not bad news) for once! Not sure about a boost for town centre businesses, but at least it might not discourage people from going in.

    I am disabled and the nearest bus stop is too far (and doesn’t have seats to sit on and wait) so if I want to go to town I have to use the car parks, so this is welcome.

    Comment by Ray | December 6, 2010 | Reply

  2. And not a word about your stealth tax (otherwise known as parking meters) imposed on the residents of Reading.

    Comment by Phil the Greek | December 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Phil – there is nothing stealthy about it! What was stealthy was Labour’s proposal to remove the right to free residents parking permits from many people who currently enjoy them and then make them pay £100 for the same permit. They were trying to smuggle that through earlier this year. Labour also left a massive deficit in the parking services budget which is unsustainable. I have made no secret of the fact that the pay and display scheme is an experiment designed to raise money to plug one of Labour’s financial black holes. What would be your proposal?

      Comment by Richard Willis | December 7, 2010 | Reply

  3. Not a word from Phil the Greek about Woolas and Chaytor. Two Labour crooks who have been found out recently. More to follow?

    Comment by Doodlebug | December 7, 2010 | Reply

  4. Doodlebug, when you mean more to follow I assume you are referring to disgraced former Bracknell Tory MP Andrew MacKay and his wife Julie Kirkbride (former Tory MP for Bromsgrove) who have had to repay a huge £60 in expenses. How they have escaped court proceedings is beyond me and strangely enough Richard has been very quiet about these two shysters.

    Comment by Phil the Greek | December 7, 2010 | Reply

  5. Of course that should be £60k and not £60.

    Comment by Phil the Greek | December 7, 2010 | Reply

  6. No Phil I was referring to the two other Labour MPs facing criminal prosecution. MacKay and Kirkbride have not been considered serious enough cases by police to pursue charges, or have I missed the news? There is a difference between bending the rules in the full knowledge of the Fees Office (MacKay and Kirkbride) and deliberately providing false information in order to claim money that you are not entitled to (Chaytor).

    Comment by Doodlebug | December 7, 2010 | Reply

  7. Bending the rules – How quaint. So nicking £60k, and probably a lot more, is all right if you’re a Tory. I have no problem with the punishment handed out to Chaytor and Woolas has always been a thoroughly undesirable character. But if you had bothered to read my post you would have seen that my point is the police have been derelict in their duty towards Mackay and Kirkbride and both should have been hauled before the courts.

    Comment by Phil the Greek | December 7, 2010 | Reply

  8. There are Labour crooks, there are Tory crooks, there are LibDem liars (and crooks). When you look at MPs, all human life is there. (Oh god, I’m being reasonable!)

    Comment by Jonny | December 8, 2010 | Reply


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