Leighton Buzzard car park 'pivotal' to next phase of electric vehicle charging points

The Vynes car park is set to be at heart of second phase of funding electric vehicle charging points in Leighton Buzzard
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The Vynes car park in Leighton Buzzard is pivotal to the second phase of funding electric vehicle charging points locally, a meeting heard.

A portfolio of sites across the town and the district is being assessed for their suitability and potential by Central Bedfordshire Council in finance bids, according to a report to Leighton-Linslade Town Council’s planning and transport committee.

The report said: “These areas would provide banks of charge points for residential use, allowing access for anyone in the community unable to charge a vehicle at home and without off-street parking.

An electric car charges at a mall parking lot in California. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesAn electric car charges at a mall parking lot in California. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
An electric car charges at a mall parking lot in California. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

“CBC is being supported by the government’s direction on transport decarbonisation and the associated funding available to local authorities.

“This supports local objectives in the council’s adopted sustainability plan and electric vehicle charge point plan, which is currently being updated to form the Central Bedfordshire electric vehicle infrastructure strategy.”

The report stated that to date, £360,000 was secured in phase one through the on-street residential charge point scheme. It continued: “This included Baker Street car park, where facilities are now installed and operational, and the pending works at Linslade Memorial Playing Fields car park.

“There’s £275,000 available in phase two, which is due to include The Vynes car park. These sites must be accessible 24/7, in local authority ownership and control, be suitable for connecting to the electricity grid, meet identified local need and on budget.”

CBC has been working with BP Pulse to deliver these residential charging projects since January 2022, with phase one largely complete and phase two currently at the project planning stage, explained the report.

It said: “Separately, the council is working with BP Pulse on a scheme to deliver rapid charge point provision, with the Hockliffe Street car park planned for upgrade.

“The aim with phase two of the residential charge point project was to provide charge points in settlements without coverage and to find more sites in our larger areas.

“For Leighton Linslade, it’s finding a fourth site to widen coverage across the town adding to Baker Street, Mentmore Road and Hockliffe Street.

“CBC and BP Pulse considered several sites, including The Vynes, which is close to identified need, with plenty of space and was the only site to come back on budget.

“It would also provide access to local charging for many local residents in a car park less pressured than some of the others. This site was deemed suitable and so was part of CBC’s successful funding application for 2022/23.

“It secured the extra £275,000 towards sites in Leighton Linslade, Dunstable, Flitwick, Arlesey, Cranfield, and Sandy,” added the report.

CBC requested town council approval for part of the car park to be used for electric vehicle charge points. The committee supported the proposal and will work with CBC towards delivering it. Work is due to start in January 2024 and is set to be completed by the end of March.

SOURCE: Leighton-Linslade Town Council planning and transport committee agenda and email to town clerk for outcome of (Nov 1st) meeting.