By John Bayes.
Parking has almost vanished from Pepper Lane since Reading Borough Council (RBC) introduced parking meters there.
Church ward councillor Ashley Pearce says that the council received an income of £3,157.70 from the Pepper Lane parking meters in 2017/18. This suggests that, on average, just over one car was parked there during working days last year; £1.50 per hour for eight hours per day for five days a week for 50 weeks is £3,000 per year.
There are two parking bays in the Reading part of Pepper Lane. One bay can take nine cars and the other 24; 33 in total. This means that, on average, just 3.2% of the available parking is used.
The university’s metered car park in nearby Queens Drive is now frequently full and only charges £3.10 for a day’s parking; RBC charges £9 or £10 for a day.
Councillor Pearce has said that a flat charge of £3 per day in Pepper Lane (for example) could encourage more parking. RBC could raise £15,000 a year even if only 20 cars parked in the 33 available spaces, and this would discourage those cars from parking elsewhere. This would be a win for the council and a win for the residents.
The meter charges in Elmhurst Road could well be reconsidered too.