THE RECENT easing of lockdown, increased car-based journeys and the need to support safe access for pedestrians and cyclists requires Reading Borough Council to restore its full parking enforcement service this week.
Residents are being urged to ensure their parking permits have been renewed so that the full reinstated enforcement service, which was eased whilst the coronavirus pandemic was at its most severe, safeguards access to parking areas for those who are entitled to it and need it most.
NHS staff will continue to benefit from Reading Borough Council’s decision to allow healthcare professionals free parking, which will continue until July through free healthcare professionals permits. NHS staff are also being encouraged to ensure they have signed up for their permit, allowing them to park in resident permit areas and for free in the Queens Road car park, so they do not receive a penalty charge notice when enforcement returns to pre COVID-19 levels. Other key workers have also been invited to apply for permits, via Royal Berkshire Hospital, allowing them to park on-street and off-street in council pay and display parking bays and car parks.
The parking enforcement service supports the council’s strategy to ensure it accommodates and represents the needs and safety of all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians, in the wake of COVID-19. Plans were published recently to re-allocate road space in parts of Reading to make walking and cycling easier and safer. With social distancing measures likely to remain in place for some considerable time, the Council has moved to design a series of schemes to create more space for pedestrians and cyclists, which recognises the severe restrictions on the capacity of local public transport.
Councillor Tony Page, Reading’s Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said:
Parking enforcement services were understandably eased when the coronavirus pandemic struck. However now the Council is beginning to implement its recovery phase, and in response to the easing of the lockdown, we are able to safely reinstate the full service.”
“To ensure a comprehensive approach to ensuring safety and access for all road users around Reading, the restored enforcement service is being reintroduced this week which will include residents’ parking areas, disabled bays, bus lanes, red routes, loading bays and double yellow lines amongst others.”