Caversham car parking charges put on hold
Plans to charge motorists for short-stay parking in parts of Reading have been put on hold after objections from businesses and shoppers.
Reading Borough Council and operator NCP had proposed charging 50p for up to an hour's parking at three car parks in Caversham and Tilehurst.
Retailers handed a petition to councillors urging them to scrap the plan amid fears it would damage trade.
Councillors are seeking a compromise to offer 30 minutes free parking instead.
The charges would affect car parks in Dunstall Close, Chester Street and Recreation Road.
Currently motorists can park free for up to an hour at the three sites but charges are in place for stays of between two and four hours.
Council transport officers are also working with traders to develop a scheme to refund customers for parking if they spend a certain amount in store.
Transport councillor Tony Page said: "We recognise that some of these changes may not help local businesses in these difficult financial times and have asked officers to work with NCP and look again at the charges."