PARKING on verges and footways will be banned in some roads - but not in others.

Councillors can nominate roads where the new rules should not apply because there is no other legal parking nearby.

But the Labour opposition has blasted that idea as “cynical council cash-grabbing” and said individual streets should be able to 'opt in’ to the scheme if they want to, rather than being included by default.

The Chronicle reported in July on Reading Borough Council’s decision to charge drivers parked on verges and footways, as transport officers lamented a 17% decline in traffic offences and revenue from fines.

Labour gave the idea its cautious backing then, but this week its transport spokesman, Cllr Tony Page, said: “This scheme is nothing less than cynical council cash-grabbing based on minimal publicity and maximum enforcement.”

Tory transport leader, Cllr Richard Willis, says the council will be lenient and open-minded in enforcing the rules and said there will be warnings before the fines regime comes in.

He denied it is a cash-cow, saying parking on verges was causing “costly damage” throughout the town.

But Cllr Page added: “The layout of our streets is such that many people have no alternative but to park on pavements or verges if they want to have their cars anywhere near their homes, and they should not then have to pay a 'Willis Tax’ of £60.”