TRANSPORT chiefs are weighing up the possibility of introducing a congestion charge in Reading.

A new scheme, similar to that in London which charges motorists more than £10 to drive through certain areas, is one of two options being laid on the table by Reading Borough Council (RBC).

The authority wants to crack down on congestion and high emissions while bringing in a revenue stream to invest funds in the town's transport network.

Another idea is a parking levy scheme which will see businesses with more than a certain number of parking spaces pay an annual charge.

Councillor Tony Page, lead member for transport, said: "There are two options available to us to produce income to support these measures.

"It's not going to come from central Government, we are on our own.

"They are either a congestion charge around Reading or a workplace parking levy.

"The congestion charge would obviously sit if not at our boundaries perhaps slightly beyond them in Wokingham, West Berkshire and possibly Oxfordshire."

Transport bosses at RBC will talk to neighbouring authorities to discuss boundaries for a possible congestion charge.

It is not yet known what the charge would be.

Meanwhile, another option for RBC is the workplace parking levy scheme, similar to the one in Nottingham.

In Nottingham, businesses with more than 10 parking spaces pay an annual charge of just above £400.

Cllr Page added: "The workplace parking levy is something we're going to look at as well.

"We are essentially going to take the Nottingham scheme as a basis for a consultation.

"We would be looking to consult with employers in Reading about the possibility of a scheme.

"A key point to emphasise is that with the Nottingham scheme all businesses with 10 or fewer parking spaces are exempt from the charge."

The ideas are part of the council's latest Transport Plan for the town.

Cllr Page concluded: "The new Local Transport Plan for Reading will have three key aims - improving air quality, reducing congestion and encouraging more people to switch to sustainable transport."

The ideas will be discussed at the council's policy committee meeting on July 16.

Councillors have been advised to approve introducing a new Transport Plan, which will see the ideas of congestion charge and a workplace parking levy scheme at the centre of an investigation.