STAFF working at Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) will be able to park for free in the town centre while fighting on the front line amid the coronavirus outbreak, thanks to the council.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) is making free parking available at Queen’s Road Car Park to RBH staff for the duration of the Covid-19 response.

READ ALSO: Reading businesses available by delivery during coronavirus escalation.

Queen’s Road Car Park is a short walk from the RBH and the council hope to make it easier and quicker for NHS staff to get to and from work.

It explained around 150 bays have been freed up for hospital staff, but that number will be increased as necessary and in consultation with the RBH.

The car park works on Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology and the council has asked RBH for a list of vehicle registration numbers so they can be used to allow NHS staff to enter the car park and park for free.

The council revealed RBH staff will be allowed to park at Queen’s Road car park for as long as they need to and without charge.

Tony Page, Lead Councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport at Reading Borough Council, said: “We are all full of admiration for the heroic job Royal Berkshire Hospital staff – and NHS staff everywhere – are doing in response.

READ ALSO: Reading and Bracknell children display their rainbow art to residents.

“By making free parking available for RBH staff at Queen’s Road Car Park for as long as is needed, we hope to make it easier for essential NHS staff to get to and from work, and also to get home to their own loved ones at this extremely difficult time.

“At this time up to 150 free parking spaces will be set aside for RBH staff, but that number will be kept under constant review and we are in contact with RBH operational colleagues throughout.”

Elsewhere in Reading, free parking in Garrard Street is being offered to NHS front line staff by NCP.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Reading Half Marathon organisers announce new event date.

NHS workers can access this offer directly via the NCP website and pre-book their space each time they need to park up to an hour before arrival into the car park.

The offer will run until the end of April, when the situation will then be reviewed.

Jonathan Scott, CEO of NCP said: “We salute you NHS, from the bottom of our hearts and want to thank you sincerely for all the work you are doing.

“We hope this gesture helps you focus on your incredible work, and not have to worry about train times and transport restrictions.”

The University of Reading has also announced it will be making its car parks at London Road and Whiteknights campuses available to NHS staff at the RBH.