Residential parking permit charges are set rise by up to 25 per cent this year to fund a new virtual visitor scheme and increased enforcement.

If approved by Reading Borough Council's (RBC) Policy Committee on Monday, the charges would be implemented from October 1.

Prices will go up from £30 – £40 for a first permit, £120 – £150 for a second and £240 – £300 for a third.

Visitor books will increase by £3 to £25 per book, with the first two books remaining free.

The council said the increased charges will provide sufficient funding to develop, consult and introduce a new virtual visitor permit scheme and to improve enforcement of the permit areas.

Councillor Tony Page, RBC lead member for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “Parking permit schemes remain hugely popular with residents in Reading, without which they would struggle to park near their homes.

“The council is regularly lobbied by local residents for the introduction of new permit zones and new schemes are being introduced in east Reading and Lower Caversham later this year.

“The increases proposed would allow the council to build on improvements already delivered in the form of the new online system.

“These would include more foot patrols in residential parking zones – as requested by local residents themselves – and the possible introduction of a virtual visitor permit scheme for Reading, offering residents much better value for money and flexibility.”

Virtual permits allow people to instantly book visitor parking via an online account 24/7 and to use their allocation of visitor parking by the hour – rather than the half day slots in which are currently available.

The technology could also be used to allow residents to check if vehicles are legally parked.

A further review could see parking permits charged based on vehicle emissions.

Cllr Page added: “Earlier this year Reading Borough Council declared a Climate Emergency.

“Improving poor air quality in Reading also remains one of our priorities.

“In the near future the Council intends to carry out a future review of the permit charging structure which would be based on vehicle emissions.

“Further updates will be provided as this important piece of work develops.”

The council expects to generate £218,000 from the increase in the next two years.

All income received from parking permits is ring-fenced for reinvestment in transport and highways schemes, which means it cannot be used to pay for other Council services or projects.