Portsmouth could get 71 new charging bays for electric cars as council urges ditching petrol

SCORES of new electric vehicle charging bays could be built in Portsmouth over the coming years, says a top politician.

Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 10:39 am

On Thursday, October 29, a decision will be made by Portsmouth City Council on plans for 71 new charging bays, which will be set up across the city.

This is the proposed second phase of support for electric vehicle owners, as councillors look to improve air quality and encourage more motorists to switch away from petrol power.

A year ago, statistics from the Department for Transport showed there were 2,316 ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in Portsmouth – accounting for 1.65 per cent of all vehicles in the city.

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The first electric car charging point that was installed in Portsmouth last year. Picture: Portsmouth City Council

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Cabinet member for traffic and transportation, Cllr Lynne Stagg, will make the final decision on the proposals.

She said: ‘The first charging bays were introduced last year and were a huge success.

‘Because we’re a city of terraced houses, people can’t get these charging ports fitted to their homes, so it falls to us as a council to bring them in.

‘We are determined to encourage more people to switch to ULEVs, especially electric cars or hybrids which are cheaper to run and better for the environment.’

Portsmouth has historically faced challenges with poor air quality, particularly around the city centre and congestion-heavy roads like the M275.

To get a vehicle charging bay, residents must register their interest with the council before being placed on a waiting list for the next phase.

Cllr Stagg said plans are already in motion for a third phase – and has urged residents to sign up and make the switch.

‘As and when funding becomes available, we will make things happen,’ she said.

‘We hope this will make a real difference. We have to reduce our air pollution for the sake of our environment.

‘The best way to do that would be to get rid of cars altogether, but switching to an electric vehicle would be the next best thing.’

Of the 80 that started out on the phase two waiting list, 19 residents have pulled out from the scheme, either due to the long waiting times or moving out of the city.

Cllr Stagg admitted that this was ‘unfortunate’ but insisted the council is working as fast as it can.

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