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:

  • 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

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Recent comments

I own a plug in hybrid today and my next car will be fully electric. For years I have been writinag to the council why the don't allow to run charging cables across the foot path? Apparently the council is liable for potential accidents to pedestrians. If I'm not mistaken this is allowed in the neighbouring borough of Merton. If so, why can't it be done in Wandsworth? Also, what would I need to do to have a lamp post charging point installed in my street? All in all I would like to applaud the borough on all their initiatives to increase the use of electric vehicles!
Hendrik Oldenkott

19 February 2018

Good work Wandsworth Council! Although hydrogen fuel cell vehicles may be the long term solution, Wandsworth are doing the right thing based on current technology. And yes do go after engine idling, although more could be done to educate the general public on this (most don't seem to realise that it's a major cause of pollution and against the law).

19 February 2018

I take it that is why Council Tax has been increased - to fund a whole new fleet of cars for Wandsworth Council use & its councillors. Although actually I don't yet see any Wandsworth Council electric vehicles - all the old Petrol Dial a Ride busses, refuse collection other Wandswoth Council vehicles.

19 February 2018

If I change for electric powered car. I could just run a cable from my house across the foot path to my vehicle , Over night charging that would save a lot of problems,?,So could every body else .
Barry Simpson

17 February 2018

I think the Council is jumping the gun on this one. It is still likely that there will be few electric cars on the roads by 2020. I do think more electric charging points are required at motorway service stations where there is often only one, if any at all. But it is too early for the Council to go overboard and establish so many charging points on lampposts so soon. This will surely cost quite a bit at a time when Council tax is set to rise quite considerably this year (largely due to the Mayor's precept). I also don't believe there will be negative impact on parking spaces in roads. The existing charging points which come in threes already use three parking spaces on the roads where they are located.

16 February 2018

I own a fully electric car and would love to have a charging point by my house (Eversleigh Road, Shaftsbury estate). As it is, the nearest charging point is about a mile away. Please provide charging points in Eversleigh Road SW11
Anthony Arta

16 February 2018

Who do I contact to request a lamp-post type charging point outside No 51 Foxbourne Road, SW17 8EN. I already have a plug-in electric car. Thanks Mr Murphy T: 07818077180

16 February 2018