Read “free parking” to stop when the red route in the city center has become permanent
A no-parking zone for cars in Reading city center will remain permanent, it has been announced.
The red route was introduced to speed up journeys for the number 17 Reading bus, which runs from Tilehurst with downtown Reading to the Three Tun junction in Earley.
Reading Borough Council decided this week that the route, which restricts where cars can stop, should be made permanent.
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Councilor Tony Page, a senior member for strategic environment, planning and transportation on the council, has issued a warning for drivers illegally parking on downtown sidewalks.
He said: “The downtown Reading – it’s the sidewalks in particular – aren’t free parking areas for people who work in the night economy… or even customers.
“The areas outside the Old Town Hall, the areas around the M&S Service Bay, the Butts areas are and have been regularly abused and are treated as free parking lots.
“It will have to stop. We are now expanding our app, using the powers that come with being a red route. Anyone who decides to park in these areas will have a problem with a ticket. “
He said staff would go out early in the morning to fine “dangerous and irresponsible” drivers.
The City Center Red Road was introduced on a trial basis in June 2020 and runs along the far eastern part of Oxford Road before it junction with Broad Street, south along St Mary’s Butts, and up to Castle Street , Gun Street and Minster Street, north along West Street, then east along Friar Street.
The Central Red Route also includes Market Place, King Street and Kings Road.
The number 17 red bus line continues east and west of Reading, where it has already been made permanent.
What is a red route?
A red route is a ‘no-stop’ restriction and has been used on major bus routes in London for many years.
Double red lines run alongside red bus line number 17, which runs between Tilehurst and Wokingham Road (The Three Tuns).
The red line runs along the “purple” bus line 17 – the city’s busiest bus service – with nearly five million individual trips each year and nearly 100,000 trips per week.
Introduced in Reading in 2018 to speed up travel through town for the number 17 bus, the east and west sides of the route were made permanent in 2019.
Example travel times for bus 17, taken on the east and west sections, show an average travel time of two minutes faster.
What concerns have been raised about the downtown section of the Red Route?
The council says that in the first six months, it mainly received feedback from downtown businesses concerned about the loading difficulties.
In response, the council added additional charging facilities and made other small changes, while extending the trial period for another six months.
The board says it has not received any further objections since the changes were made.
How much does a red route cost?
Drivers caught stopping on the red route can be fined £ 70, reduced to £ 35 if paid within 14 days.
As a first step, warnings will be issued rather than fines in the downtown section of the route to ensure people are fully aware of the new restriction.
Enforcement of the red route is carried out by a combination of civilian enforcement officers and the council’s mobile CCTV van.
Drivers can use dedicated loading docks along the route, “which have been kept to the extent possible”, to load or unload.
The following vehicles may stop on the Route Rouge:
- The buses
- Universal postal services (such as Royal Mail)
- Refuse vehicles
- Emergency services
- Holders of a parking card valid for disabled people (Blue Badge) can drop off or collect.
- Registered taxis and some private rental vehicles may stop to drop off and pick up passengers.
Most restrictions are open 24/7, but some are only open at certain times of the day.
The decision to make the downtown section permanent was taken at the traffic management subcommittee meeting on Wednesday, September 15.