READING has taken a further step to becoming a more environmentally-friendly town, with the installation of electric vehicle charging points at two car parks.

These are in place and operational at Chester Street car park in Caversham and at Thames Promenade car park near Caversham Bridge.

A third point will be installed at Kensington Road car park in west Reading in the coming weeks.

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The installations come as part of the second phase of Reading Borough Council’s (RBC) ‘Go Electric’ programme, which is increasing the amount of charging points around town, particularly for local residents who do not have off street parking available to them.

The new 22Kw charging points at Chester Street and Thames Promenade both have space for two cars to charge at the same time.

Parking in the assigned bays is free of charge for people parked and actively charging at the charge points.

The charging points cost 50p to connect and 30p/kWh to use thereafter.

Points can be used via the app for Gronn Kontakt UK.

Each charge point has a sticker on it with details and links to the app.

Tony Page, RBC’s lead councillor for Strategic Environment, Planning and Transport, said: “More people are choosing to go electric in the interests of improving air quality, health and their impact on the environment.

“That can be difficult, particularly in a town like Reading where a third of residents live on terraced streets with no off-street parking.

“This is why the installation of new charging points in local car parks is important, alongside on street charging points where that is feasible.

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“The council’s new Local Transport Strategy to 2036, which will be finalised early next year, references electric vehicles as an important component of our drive towards cutting air pollution in Reading, alongside a number of major sustainable transport schemes.

“The challenge facing both government and local authorities everywhere is supplying the necessary charging infrastructure to support a real shift to electric vehicles.

“There remains a long way to go, but as the technology develops we hope that is something that can be realistically achieved in future years.”

Just over a year ago, the council installed a total of 15 charging points on residential streets across Reading as part of its Go Electric project.

The locations – on Coventry Road, Filey Road, Manchester Road, St Bartholemews Road, East Street, Anstey Road Caversham Road and Wantage Road – were selected following a public consultation where Reading residents who either owned an electric vehicle, or had an interest in buying one in the future, were asked to register their interest in having an electric charging point on their street.

While electric vehicles are an increasingly popular choice for drivers because of the air quality and health benefits, people are very often put off by having nowhere to charge their vehicle overnight where they don’t have a private driveway.

Reading has a higher than average percentage (33 per cent) of its households living in terraced properties.

An estimated 52,000 people live in terraced housing and a high proportion have no access to off-street parking, which makes charging an electric vehicle overnight very difficult.

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The council successfully bid for Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) Air Quality Grant of £100,000 to pay for the installation of electric vehicle charging points on residential streets where there is no off street parking.

New charging points at Chester Street and Thameside Promenade were selected because they are close to residential areas with no off street parking.



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