Evening/ overnight and weekend charges in Wokingham Borough Council car parks, and Saturday daytime fees at the Civic Offices at Shute End, will be introduced this summer.
It is hoped the new charges will start at the beginning of August giving time for equipment to be ordered and installed, and 21-day public notices displayed.
A pilot scheme increasing daytime charges in just Woodley town centre – in lieu of weekend and evening increases – could start at the beginning of September pending a decision by the council’s decision making executive at its July meeting.
Overnight and Sunday parking is currently free in the borough council’s car parks, as is Saturday daytime at Shute End.
With cuts in government funding making the council’s financial position increasingly difficult, the new charges will help keep pace with increasing costs to run and maintain car parks.
“We understand why people may be upset at these changes. It’s new to them. Yet most other local authorities already charge at these times,” said Cllr Malcolm Richards, executive member for highways and transport.
“These are extremely challenging times for local councils like ours.”
Some 400 people took part in a consultation into the changes earlier this year.
“I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to talk to us in the consultation,” said Cllr Richards.
“Your comments were carefully considered and some were taken on board, such as the request from Woodley Town Council for daytime changes instead of the evening and weekend changes.”
The new evening/ overnight charges will apply Mondays to Sundays (6pm to 8am) at £1 per night. On Sundays and Bank Holidays (8am to 6pm) there will be a daily charge of £1.
The new charges at Shute End car park on Saturdays (8am to 6pm) are in line with those currently payable in the council’s other car parks.
Existing and new season tickets (one, three and six month’s duration) will now be extended to include the new overnight charges, with no increase in price.
Annual season tickets for evening and overnight parking (6pm to 8am) are also being introduced in borough car parks apart from School Lane in Wargrave.
For commuters buying all-day tickets on an ad hoc basis, they will be able to pay the additional £1 charge in advance if they know they need to park before 8am and/or not return until after 6pm (which will cover them until 8am the following day).
Telephone payment system RingGo has also been introduced in council car parks, replacing Metric Mobile. The new system, which also has an app for smart phones, works in exactly the same way although there is a different telephone number for people to call the first time they use it to set up their account.