UP to 16 vehicle charging points will be installed in car parks to encourage more motorists make the switch to using more environmentally-friendly electric cars.
Wallingford’s Goldsmith Lane and Cattlemarket car parks will benefit from the new charging points; both of them are close to the town centre and have a maximum stay of 23 hours.
Currently, the closest charging points to the town centre are a Pod Point charging station at the Cattlemarket car park, which is out of order, and a Pod Point on Lupton road.
A spokesperson for South Oxfordshire District Council said: “The electric charging point in Cattlemarket car park is no longer supported by Pod Point and is due to be removed.
“We are working in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council on the Park and Charge project and are investigating the best locations for these points and finalising agreements for this work.”
The installation of the new charging points is part of the Oxfordshire County Council’s Park and Charge scheme.
This scheme will allow residents without off-street parking to park for free overnight and charge up using a ‘fast’ 7-22kw charging point.
Wallingford town councillor Katharine Keats-Rohan said: “This will certainly help to encourage an emerging trend towards the adoption of electric vehicles, particularly for those who are unable to fit EV charge points to their houses.
Many householders have already fitted these, indicating that EV driving is becoming more common. A major remaining barrier is the cost of electric vehicles, but as the trend towards them accelerates this will become less of a problem.”
Ms Keats-Rohan explained that Wallingford has been an Air Quality Management Area since 2006 because of traffic pollution in the town centre, therefore the move to electric cars and phasing out of older petrol cars promises an end to that situation.
“Reduction of car use and more use of buses and cycling will also help. This all fits well with the policies and vision for Wallingford outlined in our recently adopted Neighbourhood Plan”, she added.
Last month the South Oxfordshire District Council announced that 62 charging points would be installed across the district.
South Oxfordshire district councillor Sue Cooper said: “This could be the difference to those living in Thame, Wallingford and Henley, to make the switch to EV ownership knowing they have easy access to charging points.
“Being part of this project also shows the council’s determination to take action to tackle the climate emergency, which we are prioritising as part of our corporate plan.”
In November, the number of new cars sold in the UK rose for the first time in four months, with sales of electric vehicle doubling as consumers look for more environmentally friendly modes of transport.
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