New parking rules for drivers in Reading have come into force today (Nov 1).

Reading Borough Council has been looking into replacing paper disks for residential car parking spaces for a number of years, and this year councillors approved the introduction of a digital parking permit.

Drivers can get a digital parking permit by uploading their registration number to an online system.

The digital permit replaces the paper disk permits displayed on the front windscreen of a vehicle, with the council stating the new system makes it easier for neighbours to apply for and manage parking near their home.

The transition to digital permits will be phased in over the next 12 months as residents renew their permits and switch to the new scheme.

Therefore, you will still be able to use a current physical permit displayed on your vehicle’s windscreen until the expiry date.

You will then be notified of how to apply for their replacement digital permit online when the expiry date approaches.

The introduction of a digital parking scheme was agreed by members of Reading Borough Council’s traffic management sub-committee in September.

The big change for residents is being implemented following a trial in Lower Caversham between November 2022 and April this year.

Welcoming the news, John Ennis (Labour, Southcote), lead councillor for transport, said:  “The Council is pleased to start introducing digital parking permits for residents from November.

“The user-friendly online system should make applying for, and renewing, parking permits easier and reduce waiting times for paper permits to be processed and dispatched.

“The existing physical residents’ parking permits will remain valid until their expiry date and those who do not have access to the internet will still be able to use the existing system and display physical permits.

“The existing visitor permit scheme will remain in operation pending the results of further trials.”

Visitor parking permits will remain in paper scratchcard form for now due to comments received during the trial in Lower Caversham.

Another trail of digital visitor permits will take place with the hope of introducing a better system for visitors in the future.

Those who do not have access to the internet will still be able to use the paper permit disks alongside the new digital system in an exemption.

The council has also pointed out that the digital permit system simplifies and speeds up the application procedure for residents, with the digital permits also potentially reducing errors, such as permits being incorrectly displayed and cars parking in different zones.