Electric vehicle drivers in Milton Keynes can now park for free in any one of 15,000 parking spaces with a new ‘Green Parking Permit’.
The scheme is the first in a series of nationwide initiatives aiming to increase the uptake of electric vehicles.
In January, Milton Keynes was awarded Go Ultra Low City status alongside Bristol, London and Nottingham and secured multi-million pound investment from Government. The cities and regions each received a share of £40 million funding by proposing exciting and innovative ideas that will encourage drivers to choose an electric car.
Around 14,000 of the spaces available are purple standard rate bays - the total is made up of a number of EV only spaces, free drop off bays at the rail station and free short stay shopping bays.
Transport minister Andrew Jones said: “It is great to see the first part of Milton Keynes’ Go Ultra Low City plan become a reality. Thanks to the £9 million of funding we have provided, thousands of local residents will now be able to park their electric cars for free. This grant will also help to create an Electric Vehicle Experience Centre in the city and open up bus lanes to electric car drivers.
“We are investing £600 million in cleaner, greener vehicles by 2020 to improve air quality, create jobs and achieve our goal of every car and van in the UK being zero emission by 2050.”
Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, said: “We’re excited to see this first phase of Milton Keynes Go Ultra Low Cities bid take shape as it brings real benefits to electric vehicle drivers across the region. This announcement marks the beginning of a new era for the city as it embraces ultra low emission motoring. The £40 million investment by government in cities across the UK, combined with funds from each winning area, will help put the UK at the forefront of the global ultra low emissions race and we hope it inspires other cities and local authorities to invest in the electric revolution.”
The Council received £9 million funding to further its innovative work developing modern vehicles to tackle harmful emissions, reduce its carbon footprint, and continue to make Milton Keynes one of the most sustainable cities in Europe. The Green Parking Permit scheme is the first proposal from any winning bid to be delivered using Go Ultra Low Cities funding, with further plans in Milton Keynes including:
- Charging Hubs, where electric vehicles can be fully recharged in around 30min
- Charging posts close to residential areas
- An EV experience centre where potential owners can try before they buy
- Priority for EVs in bus lanes
- Destination charging at popular locations including supermarkets, hotels and leisure facilities
Among the other cities’ initiatives, London was awarded £13 million to create ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’, with Low Emission Zones that offer parking and traffic priority to owners of plug-in vehicles. Bristol will give EVs access to three carpool lanes in the city and introduce a plug-in car leasing scheme while Nottinghamshire and Derby will use £6 million of funding to install 230 charge points and offer plug-in owners discount parking, plus access to bus lanes on key routes.
The scheme is also providing £5 million of development funding for specific initiatives in Dundee, Oxford, York and North East regions to help them play their part in kick-starting a country-wide clean motoring revolution. New commuter charging hubs in Dundee will open-up links across the region for plug-in vehicle owners, while solar-canopied Park and Ride hubs in York will help reduce air pollution in and around the city.