Car parking advice for big Reading show

Britain’s biggest club-organised postcard fair is hoping to avoid a repeat of the car park confusion which baffled some collectors last year.

Reading & District Cigarette Card & Postcard Club has an impressive list of more than 75 dealers lined up for its annual fair at the Rivermead Leisure Centre on Sunday July 1, from 9-30am-4-30pm.

Club spokesman Roy Sheppard said: “At last year’s event some understandable unfavourable comments regarding the mystery of the car parking system and charges were reported.

“We would like to clarify the situation in advance this year. The club cannot change or influence the car parking charges or arrangements as the car park is run by a commercial private company which set the charges and conditions.

“The park operates on an automatic number plate recognition system, the minute you drive in a photo is recorded of your car number plate, and on leaving the same applies, hence your total time stay is noted against your vehicle registration number.

“There is only one pay station, at the main entrance to the sports centre – not at the side doors leading into the fair. There are two pay machines there and you will have to enter your car registration number and payment for your estimated duration of stay.

“Leisure centre staff will be available at the pay machine to advise and minimise any queuing with additional auxiliary hand held machines for the first hour.”

The covered over (hooded) pay machines belong to Reading council and are not in use.

The Sunday charges are up to 30 minutes – free; up to 3 hours – £1; up to 5 hours – £2.50; and over 5 hours – £5. The 30 free minutes are not included as an addition to your pre-paid time stay.