Anyone with an electric or plug-in hybrid car will be able to park for free in Milton Keynes, thanks to a new Government-backed initiative.
Any car that emits 75g/km of CO2 and below and can travel at least 10 miles on electric alone will be able to park for free in one of 15,000 eligible parking spaces, UK Transport Minister Andrew Jones announced.
The scheme, which has been dubbed the ‘Green Parking Permit’, is said to be the first in a series of nationwide initiatives designed to increase the appeal of electric cars and was made possible by Go Ultra Low Cities funding. Eligible parking areas will be denoted by a ‘G’.
Milton Keynes – a large town in the county of Buckinghamshire – was awarded £9 million of the £40 million in funding from the Government after being given Go Ultra Low status, which was also awarded to Bristol, London and Nottingham.
“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,” Jones said.
He added: “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, who heads up the Go Ultra Low campaign, commented: “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 investment could be used for plans to build charging hubs that can fully recharge a vehicle in 30 minutes, put charging points near residential areas, create an EV experience centre for potential owners to give electric cars a go, allow EVs the use of bus lanes and create destination charging at supermarkets, hotels and leisure facilities.
Besides its eco-friendly initiatives, Milton Keynes is home to the UK’s first driverless car trials, which involves three self-driving pods that travel around pedestrianised areas.