West Berkshire Council

West Berkshire Council logo
Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Find information about community support and our services during the coronavirus pandemic, on our information for residents pages, our information for businesses pages, and our community support hub page which has guidance to help coordinate community organisations.

See a summary of our Local Outbreak Control Plan and read our frequently asked questions. 

Free parking days in West Berkshire Council's public car parks this December

West Berkshire Council is making free parking available at its car parks on designated dates in December to support retailers in the run up to Christmas.

This includes free parking on the market days from 9 December in Hungerford, Newbury and Thatcham (Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays respectively). Pangbourne and Theale will also benefit from free parking on Thursdays 10 and 17 December. In addition, free car parking will be available in all the Council's public car parks from 21 December to Christmas Day inclusive. The Council's staff car park in Market Street, Newbury will be open to the public free of charge every weekend in December starting 12-13 December.

The pedestrianised zone in Newbury Town Centre will be extended until 10pm on Thursday evenings from 10 December until Christmas and also until 10pm from 21 December until Christmas Day. The zone will remain open in the morning to support deliveries. This temporary measure covers Northbrook Street, the north end of Bartholomew Street, and the Market Square.

Councillor Richard Somner, Executive Member for Transport and Countryside at West Berkshire Council, said:

"We are delighted to provide free parking days across West Berkshire to support retailers and help boost visits to 'High Streets' in the lead up to Christmas. We are also enabling retailers to extend their opening hours should they wish to do so. This follows the recent Government announcement giving local authorities the discretion to allow shops to open longer from Monday to Saturday in the run up to Christmas and through January.

"In addition, the temporary extension of the pedestrianised zone in Newbury will help businesses and shoppers to comply with social distance guidance as it will make additional floor space available for queuing outside of shops and businesses.

"We thank all retailers for their sterling efforts to operate in a Covid-secure manner, and encourage people to follow the Covid rules while supporting local shops, cafes, and restaurants. This includes keeping a safe distance from others, washing/sanitising hands regularly and wearing a face covering unless exempt to protect the wearer and other shoppers."

Free car parking will be available in the Council's car parks throughout the day on:

  • Hungerford Market Day - Wednesdays 9, 16 December
  • Newbury Market Day - Thursdays 10, 17 December
  • Thatcham Market Day - Fridays 11, 18 December
  • Pangbourne - Thursdays 10, 17 December
  • Theale - Thursdays 10, 17 December
  • All Council-run car parks - 21 to 25 December
  • Council's staff car park in Market Street, Newbury - every weekend in December starting 12-13 December

Posters about the free parking offer will be on display at public car park tariff boards on the day when parking is free.  If the car park is one of the 'pay on exit' car parks, those parking should take a ticket from the entrance barrier as usual. On exit, visitors just need to drive straight to the barrier which will open automatically without charge.