Reading will lose more than 600 car park spaces as plans to transform transport in the town centre move forward.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) expect the number of car park spaces to fall from 7,112 to around 6,500 after the demolition of the Garrard Street car park and the creation of smaller new public parking areas.

A spokesman for the council said this figure is likely to decline further with the adoption of the council’s new local plan.

The council’s draft local plan states: “It is important that enough parking is provided so that there is not a knock-on effect on the safety and function of the highway and public transport network through on-street parking.

“On the other hand, an over-provision of car parking, particularly at places of work, can lead to less sustainable travel choices.”

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The 900-space Garrard Street car park will be demolished as part of the Station Hill redevelopment by Reading Station, with a small number of spaces to be created.

It has not been confirmed yet when the car park will be demolished.

To offset the loss of spaces, RBC recently submitted plans to build a 47-space car park off Abbatoirs Road, next to Cattle Market Car Park – which it also wants to extend.

The extension of Cattle Market Car Park and the new car park nearby will create around 220 spaces.

A spokesman for RBC said: “The number of car parking spaces in the town centre is falling.

“This trend is set to continue with the proposed demolition of the 900-space Garrard Street car park as part of the Station Hill redevelopment, although there will likely be a small element of new parking spaces included within the final phase of the redevelopment.

“The proposed car park off Abattoirs Road, along with the planned extension of the Cattle Market Car Park, will provide about 220 spaces which is far short of the lost spaces and will leave the town with around 6,500 car park spaces.

“The council encourages visitors to the town to use alternatives to the car, such as park and ride schemes, an excellent bus service with associated bus priority lanes, convenient cycle and pedestrian routes and improved rail services following the regeneration of Reading Station.”