30 electric vehicle (EV) charging points are being installed in streets across Bedford thanks to a £96,000 grant.
The funding is from the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) and the charging points are being installed in partnership with electric vehicle (EV) charging specialist Connected Kerb.
The five locations for the charging points are Russell Avenue near Russell Park, Oaklands Road off Kimbolton Road, Cutcliffe Grove off Bromham Road, Park Road West near Bedford Park, and south of the river on Victoria Road off Ampthill Road.
They are expected to be available for use by the end of March.
The charging points will all be on-street to cater for residents who do not have their own driveways and so are unable to charge at home.
Green Party councillors Ben Foley and Lucy Bywater welcomed the investment.
Cllr Bywater said: ‘We know there’s demand in our ward from drivers wanting to make the switch from petrol/diesel to electric sooner rather than later.
“And local air quality from cars is a real problem, We’ll continue to press for better, safer cycling and walking infrastructure as those are vital, not least for those who don’t wish to drive or can’t afford to’.
These initial installations are part of the Council’s ongoing efforts to support Bedford Borough’s transition to greener transport while working to improve local air quality.
These sites will help to shape the future of additional borough-wide charge point deployments.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “No new diesel and petrol vehicles will be sold in the UK from 2030, in just nine years’ time, and we need to get EV infrastructure in place to help residents to make this change.
“Through this successful grant application, we are able to install 30 charging points in five different parts of Bedford where houses do not generally have their own driveways.
“These points will join those already in place in Bedford and make it easier for people to start to shift away from traditional fossil-fuelled vehicles.
“Initially the spaces with the charging points will function as normal parking spaces and will not be reserved for electric vehicles, but we will keep this under review and if demand requires, this is something we can look to change, in partnership with the local community on those streets.”
CEO of Connected Kerb, Chris Pateman-Jones commented: “To date, people without driveways have been largely excluded from EV ownership, but with government bans on the horizon and more people looking to transition from polluting vehicles, on-street charging solutions become increasingly important.
“Bedford is leading the way in this regard.”