Wokingham Borough want to price shoppers out of Wokingham town centre

Wokingham Councillors have asked me to bring this to attention. I agree with them that the last thing we need are big parking charge rises when we need to get inflation down and help people on stretched budgets. We need to promote Wokingham shops, not price people out of them. I have been told:


Breaking News – Wokingham’s LibDem  /Lab / Ind Coalition propose to double parking charges, to charge on Sundays and in the evenings!

This image, copied from the agenda for the Council’s Executive Meeting later this month shows that the price of one hour of parking will increase by 62.5%, massively ahead of inflation.

For years officers at WBC asked the Conservative councillors to increase parking charges across the borough.

We repeatedly resisted this for two reasons.
1) We always wanted to promote businesses and didn’t want to prevent residents from enjoying our towns, supporting local businesses or from living their daily lives.
2) The justification was not strong enough as the cost of running our car parks had not dramatically changed.

Parking charge timings are also set to change, with the money hungry coalition proposing implementing charges until 10pm, a change from the current 6pm stop time.
Anyone used to going out for dinner at the weekend, parking and not needing a ticket after 6pm, is therefore likely to be caught out and fined through until 10pm.

The coalition has also proposed to start charging on Sundays. Again, Conservative councillors repeatedly resisted this.

In a time when the cost of living is significantly increasing, when many businesses are still struggling to regain their footfall and customers post-pandemic, the LAST THING our council should be doing right now is increasing the price of parking.

It will discourage people from shopping local, further impact already struggling businesses, increase the cost of living in our community and penalise those who work in our towns or use our car parks as part of their commute.

Wokingham Borough Conservatives will fight against this disgraceful and unjustified daylight robbery of our community.
We will keep members updated to ensure you can sign the petition and give your support to fight this.



  1. Cliff. Wokingham.
    September 25, 2022

    It does seem rather self defeating to be honest.
    I also notice they want to cut weekly rubbish collections. Collections were always weekly for a reason, namely it relates to the life cycle of flies.
    The harder WBC make it to get rid of waste, the more likely it is we will see even more fly tipping than we already do.

  2. Berkshire Alan
    September 27, 2022

    Seems like a stupid idea, when both business and customers are struggling to cope with the cost of living.
    Perhaps worth a freedom of information enquiry to find out exactly how much income per year is generated from the existing car park charges, and how much it actually costs to collect, administer, and police such.
    Perhaps if the Council is short of money it should get its priorities right and stop spending it on vanity projects like cycle paths and traffic lights.
    Just come back from a holiday in France, most towns have free parking, encourage the use of local shops, and the rubbish is collected twice a week, recycling once a week, with each house being provided with two wheely bins, one for rubbish, one for recycling.
    They also use their own direct employed labour force to complete a flexible maintenance programme in and around and in the Town

  3. IanT
    September 30, 2022

    Yes, the justification given was that neighbouring authorities charged more than WBC. There is a kind of assumption that there is no competition between neighbouring shopping centres for customer footfall but obviously there is. Parking charges might seem relatively small – but they do impact behaviour.
    Also – why stop, pay a parking charge and walk a bit further to the chemists, Friday Market, Coffee shop, Newsagents etc – when you can just drop into a nearby supermarket and park for free instead? The Town Centre needs support, not more barriers to business.

    And as for collecting the rubbish fortnightly “improving recycling” – I’m not exactly clear why that should be?

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