Northampton steps up drive for electric cars with charging points across the town

Council bids to solve problem of miles of terraced streets with no off-road parking

Friday, 15th October 2021, 8:54 am
Updated Friday, 15th October 2021, 8:56 am

Councillors are stepping up the drive for electric cars by installing on-street charging points at seven residential locations across Northampton by the end of November.

Experts have wrestled for 18 months with the problem of how to plug in cars in a town where miles of terraced streets have no off-road parking.

West Northamptonshire Council cabinet member, Phil Larratt, said: “Cutting car emissions and exploring innovative, clean and green technology are among our priorities as we work towards our vision of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

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Charging points

“We’re at a turning point when it comes to how we power our motor cars, the technology is changing fast so it is incumbent on us as a local authority to plant seeds for the market to grow from.

“A lack of charging space for residents of our historic town is a major hurdle that no individual could overcome.

"It’s a modest start, but I think it demonstrates we are taking climate change seriously and I’m really excited to see what this trial does for the uptake of electric vehicles in the area.”

The new charging points will be installed as part of the council's partnership with the Virgin Park and Charge project.

Northampton is considered an ideal place for this activity because of the large number for terraced streets and other types of homes without off-road parking, one of a number of government-backed initiatives to go green by 2030 when sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned.

Lessons learned from this trial will also be viewed alongside data from WNC’s network of off-street charging points to better inform future decisions.

Private firm, Liberty Charge, will install, operate and maintain the charging points, with the Council having no liabilities associated with infrastructure, power, or maintenance.

The seven sites in Northampton are in Oakwood Road, Upper Thrift Street, Ardington Road, Semilong Road, Barry Road, St James' Park Road and Vicarage Road.

Two charging points will be installed at each site each serving up to four vehicles at a time, although only two bays will initially be dedicated to electric vehicles with the other two bays also available for non-electric vehicle parking.