The sites have now been revealed for dozens of new electric vehicle charging points which should encourage higher ownership when they are installed with Government funding next year.
Wokingham Borough Council has received a grant for 38 charge points across 19 locations from the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which will cover 60 per cent of the cost while the supplier will meet the rest once a contract is agreed.
The supplier would also maintain them at no net expense to the taxpayer, as the council remains committed to finding savings at a time of rapidly increasing costs and protecting core services for its more vulnerable residents.
Twelve sites are in residential streets across the borough, which were identified based on requests from, and surveys of, the community. Data shows many properties in these areas have no driveways or other types of off-street parking, which can put people off buying electric vehicles.
New charging options across the borough
The locations, all within five minutes’ walk from areas of high demand, are:
- William Heelas Way, Wokingham town, RG40 1RE
- Pigott Road, Wokingham town, RG40 1PY
- St Paul’s Gate, Wokingham town, RG41 2YP
- Station Road, Twyford, RG10 9NE
- Pitford Road, Woodley, RG5 4QF
- Bramshill Close, Arborfield, RG2 9PT
- Braybrooke Road, Wargrave, RG10 8DY
- Roycroft Lane, Finchampstead, RG40 4HW
- Chatsworth Avenue, Winnersh, RG51 5EW
- Westminster Way, Earley, RG6 4BZ
- Maiden Place community centre, Earley, RG6 3HE
- Wheble Drive, Woodley, RG5 3DU
The remaining chargers will go in the council's Denmark Street, Rose Street and Cockpit Path car parks, all in Wokingham town, Polehampton Close (West) in Twyford, Station Road in Earley and Crockhamwell Road and Headley Road in Woodley.
Dedicated EV parking bays will be provided at all 19 locations to ensure owners always have access and the chargers will be available around the clock, with free access to the EV bays offered in the car parks between 6pm and 8am regardless of restrictions on other spaces.
During the daytime at the car parks, there will be a maximum stay of either four hours (Denmark Street, Rose Street, Crockhamwell Road), six hours (Cockpit Path) or none (Polehampton Close West, Earley Station, Headley Road) to ensure all residents can get a substantial charge.
All chargers will work on a “pay as you go” basis and will comply with the latest Government accessibility guidelins.
Greener journeys for years to come
The council will monitor usage and consider further incentives if needed. It will soon draw up traffic orders to enable installation and hopes to have the chargers in place by summer 2023. Their effectiveness will be reviewed to inform the council's electric vehicle strategy in future.
This will help the authority do all it can to cut the borough's carbon emissions to net zero by 2030, as road travel is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and harmful nitrogen dioxide.
It also wants to improve air quality, particularly in locations like Twyford, where there are recognised issues and efforts are being made to tackle them through an Air Quality Management Area.
The grant scheme is run by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) with support from the Energy Saving Trust. It mostly funds charge points in streets without off-street parking but supports them in car parks where they’re often used by residents with no alternative.
The council applied as part of a strategy to tackle climate change and improve air quality, which includes promoting public transport, increasing opportunities for walking and cycling and other measures. This will see an increase in charge points across the borough from just 30 in 2019 and about 175 now.
These include integrated chargers at several sites, in partnership with Flowbird Smart City UK, allowing visitors to pay for parking and charging through an app or on-site machines. Further initiatives are being developed, with more announcements expected soon.
Proud to change with the times
Cllr Paul Fishwick, executive member for active travel, transport and highways, said: “We’re pleased to announce the locations of these chargers and hope they’ll prove popular once they’re up and running.
“While we’re doing all we can to reduce vehicle journeys in favour of active travel and public transport, we know some people will still need to drive so we want to be at the forefront of any changes that make this less harmful to the environment.
“Although electric vehicles are currently in the minority in our borough, as they are around the country, recent years have seen a massive increase in ownership - and forward-thinking schemes like this will keep that going by making it more practical and attractive.
“Alongside this, we’re doing all we can to provide more walking and cycling infrastructure and support our bus networks so that residents have the widest possible choice in getting where they need to be.”
Residents can suggest more locations by emailing the council. Requests may be kept on a list but installation will always depend on demand, as well as a high number of properties having no off-street parking and funding becoming available from outside sources.
The council will soon be conducting some early engagement work on its Local Transport Plan, a strategy guiding how roads, footpaths, cycle paths, public transport networks and more are maintained and improved over years to come. More details will be confirmed shortly.
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