Coming Soon to Bedford: Electric Car Plug-In Charging Posts
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough
In addition to our efforts over recent weeks to protect rural bus routes and prevent the cuts of neighbouring Conservative-run councils from damaging cross-boundary services, we have been working hard on another significant feature of our ongoing campaign to support sustainable transport in Bedford Borough, with exciting results. We have helped to lead a successful bid which is bringing in nearly £3 million to the Eastern region for electric car charging points. We will therefore shortly be installing four charging posts as part of a first wave of eight posts, with two plug-in points on each, in public places around Bedford. Even better, we have agreement that the electricity for these will be provided free of charge by renewable energy providers Ecotricity. So, as electric cars become more widely available over the coming months and years, local residents will be well placed to take advantage of the electric car revolution.
There will be some set-up and maintenance costs, and we are currently considering how these will be covered. There will possibly be a membership scheme for electric car owners resident in the Borough, with a relatively low one-off fee enabling members to use the points throughout the year. I am delighted that with more electric vehicles coming on the market, for example a new Peugeot all-electric car now being widely advertised, local residents in Bedford who want to investigate purchasing one can do so with the knowledge that Bedford will be amongst the first towns outside of the major cities to have publicly available charging points. Due to the fact that each post will have two charging points, they need to be located where there is enough room for cars to park up and charge up. So far, then, we have shortlisted the following car park sites for the first set of sites for the posts:
- Bedford Rail Station / Ashburnham Road (Council car park - former Focus store - south of the rail station)
- Bedford St Johns Rail Station / Melbourne Street car park
- Riverside Car Park, Bedford Town Centre
- Borough Hall / Bedford College
- Elstow Park'n'Ride
NHS Bedford has also indicated that they are willing to commit tothe provision of charging posts at Bedford Hospital on the Britannia Road site.