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Budget Proposal 2024/25: Restructure parking fees and charges

Have your say.

Consultation status Results published
Start date: 2023-11-27
End date: 2024-01-11
Results 2024-02-29

Activity closed. Results published.

Balanced scales


There are 27 council-operated car parks in West Berkshire and 469 designated parking spaces available on-street in Hungerford, Newbury and Thatcham. Our Car Parks team, oversee these parking facilities and provide a civil enforcement function, in addition to managing the Blue Badge scheme and administering our concessionary fares scheme.

Details of our car parking services can be found online.

Our 2023/24 revenue budget for car parks is minus £1.1 million (with expenditure £2.0 million and income £3.1 million). Income generated from parking services enables us to continue to provide a broad range of functions including public transport services, traffic schemes, speed management and civil enforcement as well as different types of parking facilities.

Parking charges at council car parks were increased in 2018 following a period of public consultation. Since then, despite high inflation levels, charges have remained relatively unchanged, in part with a view to supporting residents and businesses with the impact of the pandemic.

You can find our current charges here.

We have just completed a public consultation on a draft Parking Strategy for 2024-2034, which included a number of proposals to map our parking provision for the next 10 years. The strategy and proposals included restructuring some of the fees and charges associated with parking services, which have been reflected in the new charges proposed, with consideration of consultation feedback received.

Legislation Requirements

Local authorities have powers under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, the Road Traffic Act 1991, the Traffic Management Act 2004, the Civil Enforcement of Road Traffic Contraventions Regulations 2022, and the Transport Act 2000 to manage and enforce parking provision.

Any surplus revenue from parking charges must not exceed spending on relevant Environment functions following the High Court ruling against the London Borough of Barnet ('the Barnet case') on 22 July 2013

The proposed changes to the fees and charges will be advertised under Section 35C of the Road Traffic (Regulation) Act 1984

What we are proposing

To amend the parking fees and charges for 2024/25. The specific proposed changes to car parks are:

  • introduce a 20p increase on most one hour (or shortest stay) tickets for car parks across the district
  • to align Goldwell and Northcroft Leisure Centre (and, seasonally for 1 April to 30 September, Northcroft Lane West) charges to provide consistency for the users attending Northcroft Leisure Centre and support use of the Newbury Lido
  • ensure parking charges, where they apply, are implemented all day, every day, across West Berkshire unless there is a good justification for not doing so
  • introduce evening and Sunday charges in some places where these don't currently exist
  • introduce charges in Lambourn, which will require the installation of a ticket machine
  • adjust Station Road, Hungerford charges to be competitive with the nearby APCOA facilities
  • reduce charges at Northbrook multi-storey car park due to current underutilisation and to help free up capacity at other Newbury parking facilities

For our other parking fees and charges, the main changes are:

  • season tickets have been modelled to offer annual, quarterly and monthly options, based on equivalent daily charges for 80, 25 and 10 days respectively
  • resident permits have been modelled to be charged in four tiers: Tier 1 - where resident permit bays are in parking charge areas; Tier 2 - where there are good bus and rail services and car club availability; Tier 3 - reasonable bus and rail services; and Tier 4 - bus services only
  • it is proposed, for 2025/26, to charge second (or additional) residential permits at a higher rate, and that early notification of this intention is being given at this time
  • to introduce an administrative charge for All Zone permits, which are currently provided free of charge (but extend their validity from 1 hour to 2 hours); it is anticipated that some medical and care professionals will review their need for the permit

You can Icon for pdf find a summary of parking fees and charges for 2024/25 here [150KB] .

You can read Icon for pdf a more detailed document [220KB] , which illustrates the current and proposed charges, identifies the relevant strategy proposals, incorporates local benchmarking data, and provides a comparison between the proposed charges and a blanket inflationary increase (of 32% from 2018) .

The proposed charges have been devised to:

  • provide consistency with the draft Parking Strategy and reflect consultation feedback
  • benchmark against other nearby towns and local authorities, acknowledging the need to remain competitive and that other locations may have differences in local offer
  • seek greater consistency for charges between nearby car parks (considering both council and private car parking facilities) and between different out-of-Newbury towns and villages
  • reflect the nature of car parks as either short-term or short and long-term car parks

The proposed fees and charges are expected to generate an additional annual income of up to £500,000. 

This additional income will be used to continue to secure convenient and safe movement of traffic, sustainable transport systems and provide suitable and adequate parking facilities on and off the public highway.

There will be some additional expenditure (approximately £15,000) required in order to deliver the additional income savings. This will include: installation of one new ticket machine, reconfiguration of other ticket machines and back-office systems to reflect the new charges, revised signage and publicity for the associated Traffic Regulation Orders.

We will be looking to finance the new ticket machine through our annual capital budget for pay machines, with an associated revision of the priority order for replacement of other existing machines. It is intended that the additional revenue costs will be met through a review of our current car parks' cleaning rota, ensuring the frequency and scope of the cleaning regime remains fit for purpose at all sites. 

What we think the impact will be

We think the impact on residents and visitors will generally be minimal, with an increase of 20p on most one hour charges.

However, this is the first significant review of charges in six years.  With charges applying all day, every day and the charges in some car parks being amended to reflect the purpose of the sites, users may look to review their parking options, exploring: car parks better suited to their long or short term needs (particularly in the Newbury area), season ticket options (with monthly options now available in some car parks) and/or active and sustainable travel options.

After the first three hours free stay, parking charges will apply at council car parks for Blue Badge holders, with longer-stay users contributing to facilities.

We don't want to displace parking into nearby residential roads in significant numbers and so we have kept the proposed charges at a modest level. Overall, we consider that this restructure will still make West Berkshire an attractive place to visit.

Icon for pdf Please refer to the Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for more details. [35KB]

What else we have considered before arriving at our proposal

A blanket increase to current charges of 32% has been considered and modelled, however, it is expected that this would have resulted in a notable drop in ticket sales in some car parks, which in turn would affect the vibrance of our towns and villages. The proposed charges seek more modest price increases to ensure our parking facilities remain viable services for customers.

Why we want your views

We would like to know how this proposal might impact you and the wider community, and any views you have on how we can minimise the impact of the proposed change, if the decision is taken to proceed with it.

How to take part

If you'd like to comment on this proposal, please complete our survey by midnight on Thursday, 11 January 2024. It should take about 10 minutes. 

If you have any questions about the consultation, please email

For general enquiries about Parking, please visit our webpage.

What happens next

All the feedback we receive will be taken into consideration, and a final decision whether to proceed with this proposal will be made by elected Members at the Full Council Meeting to be held on Thursday, 29 February 2024.

If the decision is made to proceed with this proposal, the new parking fees and charges will seek to be adopted in early 2024/2025. Changes to charges for on and off-street parking will also be subject to statutory consultation as part of updating the Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) and this process will be set to commence after the February Council meeting.

What you told us

In total, 258 responses were received through the survey. We also received direct responses from Reading West & Mid Berkshire CLP and Newbury CLP, Thatcham Town Council, and Tilehurst and Basildon Parish Councils. We received no petitions.

A summary of the responses received is included in the agenda papers for each public meeting.

What we did

The budget for 2024/25 will be considered by councillors at the Executive meeting on Thursday, 8 February 2024, and then by Full Council on Thursday, 29 February 2024. It will also be discussed by members of the Special Scrutiny Commission on Tuesday, 6 February 2024.

All meetings will be open to the public and residents can attend either in person at the Market Street Offices or virtually.

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