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West Berks rules out EV charging bays

Electric Vehicles

24 July 2020

West Berkshire Council has ruled out creating electric vehicle-only parking bays beside  electric vehicle chargepoints on residential streets.

The council has installed 36 chargepoints on streets in Newbury and Hungerford with the help of funding from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles. But West Berkshire says usage data shows that most are infrequently used.

In March, a motion calling for EV-only parking bays beside chargepoints was presented to the full council.

The council’s executive rejected the idea last week but did agree for an experimental traffic regulation order to create a trial bay for an on-street chargepoint that sees frequent use. The trial will inform the council’s future policy.  

Neil Stacey, West Berkshire’s network manager (highways) told councillors: “Dedicated bays should not be introduced too soon or before there are at least a small number of local electric vehicle owners that might make use of them, otherwise the bay risks creating resentment amongst local residents about removal of a parking space.” 

The streets with chargepoints do not have marked paying bays and Stacey said a space would have to be about six metres long to allow vehicles to manouevre in and out. “Residents often park much closer to each other on congested roads than a formal individual parking bay would allow and by leaving such space it could create conflict from non-EV owners.” 

Stacey said creating EV-only bays would also require changed working practices for parking enforcement officers. “Given that the majority of the usage of the chargepoints will be overnight, the issuing of penalty charge notices to non-EVs parked in an EV-only space would require a change to the working practices of the team of civil enforcement officers, who do not normally work in the evenings or into the night. Without regular enforcement, there would be no deterrent to parking a non-EV in an EV-only space.”

Bays would also require signage that could be deemed intrusive.

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