Berkshire

Plans to end free parking in Reading for shoppers

Free parking for shoppers in Reading is set to end under new proposals.

About 200 parking spaces in the town centre are to be converted into short-term pay and display areas in a bid to generate more money.

Reading council said the scheme could be rolled out to Caversham and other shopping areas in the town centre if the two-year trial was a success.

The charge, due to be enforced in the autumn, is expected to be 50p for 20 minutes, with a maximum one-hour stay.

Councillor Richard Willis, in charge of transport and planning at the council, said: "We think that's going to increase the turnover in the bays and it will be good, particularly for small businesses.

"It's all about raising money because we have a deficit in the residents' parking scheme, but there are other benefits as well and some of the businesses we have spoken to are supportive."

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