Wandsworth’s multi-million pound electric vehicle boost will help improve air quality
Published: Tuesday 13th February 18
Wandsworth is set to become one of the most electric vehicle-friendly authorities in the country with plans announced for hundreds of new charging points and the establishment of an eco-friendly electric car club.
The growth in electric vehicle use in Wandsworth – and the direct benefit on air quality levels this provides to all residents - is set to receive a multi-million pound boost councillors on the community services scrutiny committee will be told next week.
At their meeting on Tuesday, February 20, councillors will be told of plans for:
- At least another 227 electric vehicle charging lamp posts to be offered on request to residents who have already bought or are about to purchase a new electric car.
- The installation of charging plugs in 380 lamp posts within two pilot zones – in Putney (149) and Battersea (231) – to gauge local demand and encourage more people to make the switch to electric. The results from these trial schemes could see lamp post charging extended to other residential areas.
- Another 120 Source London car charging points to be installed at various locations across the borough, augmenting the 99 that are already in use at 33 separate places in Wandsworth.
- The establishment of a new e-car club in Wandsworth – offering a convenient and eco-friendly alternative to car ownership, providing electric vehicles to hire by the hour, day or week.
Cllr Cook with one of the 99 Source London charging points already in place
Introducing lamp post charging points will have no impact on parking provision in the borough. There will be no restrictions on the types of vehicle allowed to use adjacent parking spaces, so they can be used by both electric and non-electric vehicles.
At next week’s meeting councillors will be told that the am is to create an unparalleled level of infrastructure in Wandsworth so that owning an electric vehicle “becomes the norm not the exception”.
The council’s transport and environment spokesman Cllr Jonathan Cook said: “We think Wandsworth should be in a league of its own when it comes to helping our residents go electric.
“By creating such an extensive network of charging points our aim is to remove one of the biggest hurdles facing people when they begin to think about the feasibility of changing from petrol and diesel to electric.
“We know that many of our residents have already embraced this new technology and many more are thinking about it. We want to do all we can to help them make that switch.
“If we are serious about improving air quality levels in our city then bold and radical steps like this are what’s required.”
The overall investment in e-motoring infrastructure being discussed at next week’s committee meeting amounts to some £3m.
The number of electric vehicles registered in Wandsworth has grown from 127 at the end of 2015 to the current level of 408 – with numbers rising by around ten per cent every three months.
Current projections indicate that some 5,500 electric vehicles will be registered in the borough by 2025 – but with enhanced infrastructure and more charging points that number could rise to nearer 10,000. Existing analysis indicates that Wandsworth already had one of the highest take up rates in London for electric vehicles.
Charging plugs are to be fitted to 380 lamp posts in two pilot zones in the borough
Cllr Cook added: “The future of motoring is electric. All the major car manufacturers have signalled their intention to start phasing out diesel and petrol engines so we want to start planning ahead now to make sure we play our role in delivering the necessary infrastructure to keep local people on the move.
“This is an ambitious programme of change which has the potential to achieve a real improvement in air quality. We’ve already done a lot to tackle pollution in Wandsworth but we recognise that more needs to be done.”
Existing town hall initiatives to help improve local air quality levels include:
- A ban on day-time lorry deliveries in Putney High Street.
- Lobbying for cleaner buses.
- A rolling programme of environmental theatre productions in local schools to teach children how their travel choices affect air quality.
- Helping schools develop School Travel Plans which reduce the number of cars used on the school run through initiatives like 'walking buses' and car pools.
- Championing car clubs which dramatically reduce total vehicle use and take older, more polluting cars off the road. Wandsworth now has the highest car club membership in London.
- Training members of the council’s civic enforcement team how to explain to drivers of stationary vehicles why they should not leave engines running, especially outside local schools. If drivers refuse to switch engines off they can be issued with fixed penalty notices.
- Recruiting and training air quality champions.
- Promoting cycling and investing in the borough’s cycle network.
- Free bike safety lessons for children and adults to give more residents the confidence and skills they need to start cycling.
- Arranging 'Dr Bike' cycle surgeries to promote cycling and teach residents basic maintenance skills.
- Introducing a borough-wide 20mph speed limit.
- Promoting the free airTEXT messaging service to warn residents when high pollution levels are forecast.
- Supporting public health campaigns and smarter travel awareness schemes to promote walking.
- Supporting Clean Air Day and encouraging local people to make clean air pledges.
- Advising new building developments and infrastructure projects in Nine Elms on reducing dust and diesel pollution.
- Lobbying for higher capacity rail, bus, riverbus and tube services so more residents can switch from cars to public transport
- The council's Smarter Driving campaign encourages drivers to take simple steps to reduce their emissions, like inflating tyres.
For more information about the work being carried out locally to improve air quality, visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/airquality.