25 October 2021 | Environment | BY: West Northamptonshire Council

Trial to provide charge points for homes without driveways across Northampton

Electric vehicle charging points are set to be installed at seven sites across Northampton this autumn as part of the West Northamptonshire Council’s (WNC) partnership with the Virgin Park and Charge (VPACH2) project.

The project aims to meet the electric vehicle charging needs of people without off-road parking; residents with off-road parking can already take advantage of government grants to install an EVCP at home.

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. 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.

Cllr Phil Larratt, WNC’s Cabinet member for environment, highways, transport and waste, 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.

“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 VPACH2 project is part of a wider set of UK Government sponsored initiatives to build an electric vehicle charging network to ensure a seamless transition from fossil fuels to electric power by 2030, when the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles will be banned.

The VPACH2 delivery model for Northampton is based on the Council acting as a facilitator and enabler. A private firm – Liberty Charge – will install, operate and maintain the charging points, with the Council having no liabilities associated with infrastructure, power, or maintenance.

Over the past 18 months, WNC and North Northamptonshire Council, and previously the former Northamptonshire County Council (as project lead), have worked with the former borough and district councils and Liberty Charge to identify and progress suitable on-street locations for charging points.

During this process residents were given the opportunity to respond to a survey on potential locations, with residents living near the proposed sites receiving letters with further information including details of the survey and how to respond.

For those sites chosen to progress to the next stage, a further consultation was undertaken. This was part of the statutory Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) process and detailed proposed parking restrictions which would be allied to the charging points. Details of this consultation was promoted by the highways authority through the normal channels and public notices.

The seven sites in Northampton which have been approved, are:

  • Oakwood Rd
  • Upper Thrift Street
  • Ardington Road
  • Semilong Road
  • Barry Road
  • St. James’ Park Road
  • Vicarage Road

Two charging points will be installed at each site, each serving up to four vehicles at a time. The chargers are 22kW Fast Chargers, which can charge a single car from empty to full in around three hours.

Initially only two bays will be dedicated to electric vehicle charging only, with the remaining two bays being available for electric vehicle charging or non-electric vehicle parking.

Work has started, with all sites set to go ‘live’ by the end of November. Temporary Traffic Regulation Orders will be used to suspend parking while the groundwork and installation takes place.

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