Businesses and drivers are battling it out for car parking spaces at a busy shopping area in Reading.

The Wokingham Road shopping area in East Reading is home to around 30 businesses and is a popular area for neighbours to buy goods from convenience stores, groceries and takeaway food.

But shoppers and businesses have clashed over limited car parking spaces.

Usman Mehr, who shops in Wokingham Road, has complained that parking spaces are being unfairly blocked.

A photo taken by Mr Mehr shows pallets being used to reserve a parking space.

He said: “The parking situation on Wokingham Road is already challenging due to its high demand, and finding a parking spot has become increasingly difficult.

“On numerous occasions, I have had to circle the area multiple times in search of a space, which wastes both time and fuel.

“This issue affects not only residents but also visitors to the Alfred Primary School, post office, pharmacy, and other establishments in the vicinity.

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“I believe that public road-side parking spaces should be made available on a first-come, first-served basis to ensure fairness and convenience for all users.

“However, the businesses occupying these spaces disregard this principle and hinder public access to parking, creating unnecessary frustrations and inconveniences.”

Mr Mehr has called on Reading Borough Council to resolve the issue.

However, a shop employee argued that putting obstacles in the space so that businesses can reserve space for deliveries could be justified.

Mohammad Ramzan, a manager at Rahim Stores said: “We don’t do that, but some other shops do.

“Businesses get sick and tired of not being able to have deliveries, so people put stuff in the loading bays to preserve the space just to get the goods in.

“There are a lot of shops that have issues on delivery days if there’s no space for lorries and vans to bring in goods.

“The side roads are all permit based, so drivers could get tickets if they park there.

“When we say to people ‘this is a loading bay’ they get aggressive and funny about it.

“If everyone obeyed the rules and regulations it would be fine, but when people abuse the system that’s where you get issues, with parking and deliveries.

“You’ve got lorry or van drivers with pallet loads to drop off, but if anybody and eveybody dumps their cars there they can’t unload.”

The stretch along Wokingham Road allows loading for 20 minutes, and restricted parking for two hours between 8am to 8pm.

Mr Ramzan suggested drivers are parking in the bays outside of these times, which is making the issue worse.

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When asked what it will do to resolve the issue, a council spokesperson said: “The blocking of a parking bay with crates, even for a short period of time, is obviously unacceptable.

“Council highways officers already visit this stretch a number of days every week and have previously asked shop owners to remove the crates from pavements, although they have not been seen in a parking bay before now.

“Officers have been alerted and will continue to closely monitor the situation.

“Traffic Enforcement officers also regularly visit this site to ensure vehicles comply with the parking restrictions.”