How charging electric cars could become easier in Portsmouth – and and why some residents aren't happy about it
INNOVATIVE plans to adapt street lamps for electric car charging could make Portsmouth a leading city in green travel - but homeowners aren't impressed.
At a meeting on Thursday (Jan 24) the council's transport boss, Councillor Lynne Stagg, will decide whether to implement 40 electric vehicle charging points, with 38 designated parking bays, across the city.
It is thought adding charging points, provided through existing lamp posts, in residential roads will boost the numbers of electric vehicles in the city, which were recorded as more than 1,500 last year - a 400 per cent increase since 2015.
Cllr Stagg said: 'Charging electric vehicles has typically occurred off-street in car parks, garages or driveways. In built-up cities like Portsmouth, off-street parking is not an option for many residents.'
But homeowners of the streets affected made their concerns known as part of a consultation held between December and January.
Out of 45 responses, 42 objected to the plans citing loss of parking spaces, hazards created by wires and bollards - that will be used where lampposts are far away from the kerb - and disruption.
One resident of Clarence Parade said: 'I am registered blind and use a white cane. Greater care needs to be taken in the selecting of locations for any sign poles and satellite charging bollards to minimise the obstruction of footpaths to all pedestrians.'
An Adames Road homeowner added: 'I object to this there’s no parking as it is down this road, I can never find a place to park and have to pay for a permit yearly to park in my road.
'You're thinking of adding this in effectively taking another parking space away from the street. No one even has an electric car down here from what I’m aware of.'
Only three residents supported the idea.
'I have an electric vehicle and my husband wants to buy one,' another Adames Road resident said.
'I and my husband fully support your wish to place a charging point in the lamp post outside of 51 Adames Road. This means the charging point of my car can be on the pavement side which is ideal.'
Cllr Stagg explained why the consultation was held. 'We are committed to improving air quality in Portsmouth and want to encourage greater use of electric vehicles, so I supported a consultation with residents on this proposal to introduce the electric vehicle charge point infrastructure,' she said.
'I will be considering all comments in the report before making my decision on Thursday.'
Most of the cost of implementing the points, that will be in place for three years, will be covered by a £100,000 grant from government that has been secured.
Users will be able to pay for the electricity either via an app for smartphones or by using a pre-paid smart cable.
Existing electric vehicle charging point locations include the Park and Ride car park, the Isambard Brunel multi-storey and the Clarence Esplanade car park.
Roads that could be affected:
St Catherine Street
St Ronan's Road
High Street, Old Portsmouth
Victoria Road North
Wimbledon Park Road