Parked cars

Launch of New Boroughwide Digital Parking Scheme

  • New digital residents’ parking scheme launches on 1 November 2023
  • Easier and quicker to apply for, and renew, parking permits
  • Existing physical residents’ parking permits will continue to be used until their expiry date.

New digital residents’ parking permits are being launched across Reading borough on Wednesday 1 November.

The online system will replace the current physical permits which are displayed in vehicles, and make it easier for residents to apply for and manage parking near their home.

The transition to digital permits will be phased in over the next 12 months as residents renew their permits and switch to the new scheme.

Residents will still be able to use their current physical permits displayed on their vehicle’s windscreen until the expiry date. They will then be notified of how to apply for their replacement digital permit online when the expiry date approaches.

The modernisation of the way residents apply for and renew parking permits was agreed by the Council following a successful trial in Lower Caversham between November 2022 and April this year.

As well as simplifying and speeding up the process for residents, the new digital permits should also help reduce errors, such as permits being incorrectly displayed and cars parking in different zones.

Motorists who do not have online access will still be able to use the paper permit system alongside the new digital system.

The existing scratchcard visitor parking permits will continue to be used but further trials are being planned to potentially transfer them to the digital scheme in the future. This could give residents the advantage of purchasing visitor permits instantly for the length of time required, rather than in fixed blocks.

Cllr John Ennis, Lead Councillor for Climate Strategy and Transport, said:

“The Council is pleased to start introducing digital parking permits for residents from November.

“The user-friendly online system should make applying for, and renewing, parking permits easier and reduce waiting times for paper permits to be processed and dispatched.

“The existing physical residents’ parking permits will remain valid until their expiry date and those who do not have access to the internet will still be able to use the existing system and display physical permits.

“The existing visitor permit scheme will remain in operation pending the results of further trials.”

Parking permits give residents a greater opportunity to park close to their home in areas where there are more properties than parking spaces. The borough currently has 12,000 on-street parking spaces for 17,000 homes.

Permits prevent people from inappropriately parking for long periods near train stations, hospitals and health centres, shopping centres, or parking so they can go to work. The permits are also designed to contribute to road safety and allow emergency service access.

Residents will be able to report vehicles they believe are not parked in the correct permitted areas. This will be used as intelligence and highlight issues which can be reported here - Parking - Reading Borough Council.

The Council will contact parking permit holders with details of how to apply for their new digital permit, in the weeks before their permit expires. There is also information on the changes, including frequently asked questions, on the Council’s website at: