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.