Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Residents Parking Scheme Now Under Review

The End Of Paper Parking Permits?
Last night (Tuesday 4 September) I was able to launch a review of Reading Borough Council's residents parking scheme.

The scrutiny review aims to present a final report with any recommendations for change to RBC's Cabinet early in 2013.

It is worth noting that the current arrangements run at a net cost to council tax payers of over £300,000 per annum.

In summary, the Reading scheme generally allows for a maximum of two permits per household, with the first permit free and the second charged at £60. It also provides for 40 free visitor permits and the option to purchase another 100 in any one year.

The review will compare schemes from other towns and see if we can learn from them. For example, in Oxford it appears the maximum number of permits varies, with charges for all permits of betweem £50 and £150 for a fourth permit; in York a third permit is £300 and fourth £600, but can be bought for as little as three months; Nottingham appear to offer a maximum of three permits free of charge and renewable every two years and students can purchase permits for £70 an academic year.

Bristol offers a free permit for a low emission vehicle and York a 50% discount.

It is also worth looking at the "virtual" schemes operated in Cheltenham and Cotswold council areas, where no paper permits are issued, relying instead on enforcement officers having data on "live" permits in any area - would this help cut costs?

Our ambitions should be to see this as a cost neutral service which is easily accessed and understood by residents - this review must aid that ambition.

Residents are welcome to send their views and ideas to me: tony.jones@reading.gov.uk


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