DRIVERS can now park for free at any car park operated by West Berkshire Council ‘until further notice’. 

The decision was taken to help make life easier for key workers during the disruption caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, and comes into immediate effect. 

Councillor Richard Somner (Con, Tilehurst & Holybrook), lead for transport, said: “We recognise the important roles key workers have in our communities. 

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“It’s only right that we ensure they don’t have to contend with anything which might be seen as an obstacle to them carrying out their duties at this very difficult time.” 

Signs will be put up outside car parks that will stay open. 

The Kennet Centre car park, Newbury, will open from 7am until 7pm, but only on the ground floor. The lifts are out of use.

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Northbrook Street car park, Newbury is shut until further notice and the car parks within the Wharf area have had their barriers lifted for unrestricted access.       

Season tickets will have their expiry period extended two months, and advice on refunds will be published on the council website soon. 

A council spokesman said: “Regardless of the measures we have introduced for our car parking restrictions, we do ask that all road users still help to ensure the roads are kept clear for all traffic, including emergency services, and that the double yellow lines and disabled parking bays are respected.”