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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't (ever) post in this forum, but I thought the following may be of interest.

Infuriated by stories I've read as well as attitudes I've witnessed I decided to take the mantle on behalf of EV drivers and email my MP with an idea.

You can read my original email below as well as the response I received today and the attached PDF response from Baroness Kramer, Minister of State in the Department of Transport. My original email to Steve Brine MP reads as follows...


To: BRINE, Steve
Subject: Simple idea for green car support

Dear Mr Brine,

I’ll be honest and say I don’t know where you stand on green issues, the 'electric highway’ and the like, but I’d like to see what you think of the following idea to improve electric car adoption by reducing inappropriate parking by non-electric car drivers.

As somebody interested in the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) industry, although I don’t drive an EV myself - yet - I do often see electric car parking spaces in public car parks as well as shop and other business car parks.

These spaces are made available for EV drivers to park and charge and are provided in conjunction with an electric charging point - almost always one per space. Typically these are signposted and marked with something in white paint to denote that the space should only be used for EVs. See this example:

http://thumb101.shutterstock.com/di...electric-charging-parking-space-213424873.jpg

However an increasing problem as these spaces become more widespread is the proliferation of non-EV drivers to park in these spaces, thus preventing EV owners from charging. Quite often, due to engineering practicalities, these EV charging spaces are located nearer the entrance to whatever they service, much like disabled spaces, simply because it’s the easiest place to route the electricity to the charging points.

There are largely two offenders of parking incorrectly. There are those who are genuinely unaware they should not be parked there and there are those who block spaces out of spite because they don’t believe EV drivers should have reserved spaces or spaces near entrances.

My suggestion, as I see they sometimes do in other countries, is that the UK adopt a policy to increase awareness of EV charging spaces by painting them green. This would clearly highlight that it is not a ’normal’ parking space and draw attention to signs related to EV parking, thereby helping cut the number of drivers who are simply unaware they shouldn’t park there. You can see an example in this photo:

http://www.plugincars.com/sites/default/files/charging-space-620p.jpg

Perhaps it should also be made illegal for a non-EV to be parked in an EV charging space, as it is for a car not displaying a blue disabled badge to be parked in a disabled space. This should help cut instances of spiteful parking where drivers deliberately use the spaces, knowingly preventing EV drivers from charging.

I would be interested to hear your thoughts and I apologise for the verbosity of my correspondence.

Regards,

Me
[not my actual name]


I received a swift and positive initial response:


Dear Me, [still not my name]

Many thanks for your email, and how interesting.

This really hadn’t crossed my mind, let along my desk, before, but it is pretty clear what your suggestion is.

While of course it would be hard to ‘dictate’ to supermarkets etc this suggestion, it does seem to be pretty common sense, and could of course be applied to council-run car parks and the like.

I will be honest and say I have little idea what may actually come back on this, but I am more than happy to feed this into the Minister and see what he has to say.

There will be a short delay in hearing back (not least because my volume is huge at the moment), but I will be back to you when I hear further.

Kind regards,

Steve Brine



Potentially encouraging!

Today, I received a more detailed response, which I thought you'd find particularly riveting. Unless of course you've heard/read this already.


Dear Me,

Please find attached the response I have received from Baroness Kramer, Minister of State in the Department of Transport.

In the response you will see that the Minister has outlined the Government’s view on electric vehicle parking.

I hope you find the information useful and if ever there is anything further I can raise for you please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Steve Brine



Attached is the attached attachment (PDF) for your viewing pleasure.
 

Attachments

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Just read the reply. Sounds like they're saying "nothing we can do, local authorities are responsible for their spaces, private companies for theirs..." and the only place that is (potentially) moving forward is motorway signage, but to me that seems pretty much OK as it is?

It was a quick skim read though so correct me if I missed something significant. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In summary, the PDF response states:
  • The government's long term vision is that from 2040 every new car will be a ULEV (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) and that by 2050 the fleet will be effectively decarbonised.
  • The points I made are important and well made. That's important!
  • The OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles) is committed to addressing signage.
  • Enforcing parking regulations is the responsibility of Local Authorities.
  • "We" (the government/department?) are aware that the issue of non-EV's parking in EV spaces is a source of great frustration.
  • Private parking, for example in supermarket car parks, is the responsibility of the landlord.
You can read more about the OLEV strategy here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploa...39317/ultra-low-emission-vehicle-strategy.pdf

In review: a mixed bag, I'd say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just read the reply. Sounds like they're saying "nothing we can do, local authorities are responsible for their spaces, private companies for theirs..." and the only place that is (potentially) moving forward is motorway signage, but to me that seems pretty much OK as it is?

It was a quick skim read though so correct me if I missed something significant. :)
Yes, basically the next step is for everybody to contact their own Local Authority.

Tedium.
 

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Yes, basically the next step is for everybody to contact their own Local Authority.

Tedium.
The Milton Keynes spaces have ELECTRIC VEHICLES painted in big letters.

Doesn't stop ICEing. :(

As I understand it though it doesn't matter what signs say unless their the "official" approved signage with regards to parking restrictions. Not sure of the details though. You'd think/hope it would improve things if it was made clearer though, a least for some.
 

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I enjoyed your post @Lightwave and the replies but for me it underlines certain things.
Firstly that our MPs and ministers don’t have first hand experience of ev ownership.
Secondly that the emphasis is on OLEV being there to meet obligations rather than social desire.

However the question of charging spaces being iced doesn’t bother me much as I cannot accept that the slow/fast charging places can be of much use when ev are common on our roads. There just won’t be enough of them to matter.

Generally most people (which obviously includes our elected representatives) don’t aspire to own ev. And that’s a shame.

My feeling is that if there is one thing that would get us noticed and envied it is for us to have the freedom of the bus lanes.
We have all sat in queues whilst not just buses sail past but all manor of taxis in the bus lane and wouldn’t it be good for awhile that we could do the same.
 

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Good work sir.....

Private companies are unlikely to do anything for fear of upsetting the majority (ICE) drivers.

LAs might be more likely to enforce them if it was a money making exercise like city centre parking enforcement
 

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Well done for raising the issue and thanks for following up by sharing with us. Our population is relatively apathetic when it comes to complaining or lobbying to MPs. The result is that it does not take much to get some attention especially in the run up to elections. If every EV driver was as active as you for raising the issue I'm sure that the response from the minister would have been more "interventionist".

While of course it would be hard to ‘dictate’ to supermarkets etc this suggestion, it does seem to be pretty common sense, and could of course be applied to council-run car parks and the like.
I always thought that was what government was there for. On occasion it has to dictate to businesses. Had it not done this we would not have disabled access to commercial premises, equal opportunities (at least on paper) and a host of other things. The clue is in the name "Government".:rolleyes: Passing the buck does not wash. Perhaps they would like to pass the buck to another political party (and there are plenty queuing up on all sides of the political spectrum) which interestingly is in our power to dictate next spring.

On the other hand look at the way the government has dictated to banks on proper and responsible behaviour.:)
 

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Shame the response wasn't stronger... but on the green hatching/space marking, definately agree... and we need consistency. Something as simple as this together with a sign can at least help where people just don't know. It won't address all cases but I do believe it's one small thing....
 

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There needs to be a change in the law to make parking in "special" spaces an offence even in private car parks. This would be primarily aimed at disabled spaces, but should include EV spaces. Maybe you could apply to your council to have a space registered as reserved and you get a sign to state that it is officially reserved and the council will be able to send someone around to ticket a vehicle on request from the land owner, it should also be possible to pay for an employee to be trained to issue tickets too. The council will keep the fine to pay for the service. It won't matter if getting a ticket is relatively rare, the public will start to recognise the "officially reserved space" sign and keep away.
 

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Perhaps the government were short-sighted when repealing the law that allowed wheel-clamping in autumn 2012.
I don't agree with clamping at all, or private firms being able to charge people for things like that anyway, but clamping in particular always grates.

"You shouldn't park there it's for access, disabled people, parents (or whatever) so we'll disable your vehicle and lock it in the place it's not meant to be – that's how important keeping that space clear is to us". Er, what?!
 

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Maybe a better approach is one where the signage indicates a parking fee of £100/hour for the space, with EVs on charge being exempted.

This is apparently easier to prosecute on private land than applying a fine.
 

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Just read Baronesses letter.:eek::confused::mad:o_O:(
Wonderful fantasy vision of a rosy future when they will no longer be in power.
Whilst they are in power office however?...Nothing to do with me its all the responsibility of.... errr Councils and land owners.
Here we go again No national thought through joined up plan:rolleyes:.
Dunno about you Baroness but I have been known to use a car to get from one county council's jurisdiction to another .
Signage and RFID cards a free for all? You are having a laugh!
How the hell are drivers supposed to recognise different signage in their own council's jurisdiction, let alone know what to expect from other council's approach to this idiotic free market free for all.
Oh yes Electric cars, our future by 2040 and total fleet replacement by 2050 and yet somehow today they only use public charging in emergencies like having to cross a council border without the right RFID card then?:rolleyes:
This letter defies belief in its utter fantasy of incompetence.
 

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Today it's an absolute disgrace, Tom, Dick & Harry park wherever they wish. They don't even leave enough room for any emergency service vehicles or the local refuse wagon.
I believe that this was/is a problem in Amsterdam, where a lot of the streets are narrow. The emergency services like the fire brigade response to that is to drive through and damage the cars if required. Many drivers in Amsterdam don't take the risk. These things have to happen only once ;).

But I agree with Paul that clamping is not the answer. I think that in most places a post that has to be moved down to park can be effective. Need to be placed back after cars leave. Problem when there is a locking system on it to allow EV drivers to use this, and price will go up as well.
 

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it should have become something which could and should have continued under a strict code of practice.
Wheel clamping does indeed continue, and under strict codes of practice. Same with towing away. But private individuals are not allowed to do such things.
 

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The election will be pretty 'interesting'. I doubt any party will have enough seats to mount an effective majority government. The days of two party politics are over. My prediction is for a Tory-UKIP coalition. However - now is the time to be lobbying MPs (current and prospective) to get their position on supporting EVs and then holding them to account post election.
 

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So they're collaborating with the Highways Agency? The organisation that can't even fill pot hole in on motorways, or put up warning that the motorway ahead is blocked?!

:forehead slap:

No collaboration with users....

Oh well....

(PS - Lightwave, your details are still visible in that PDF. Recommend you delete what you have posted. Put up a scan version with the details physically blanked, or just copy from the following text version, which I add for your convenience:)

Thank you for your letter of 14 October to the Rt Hon Edward Davey MP, on
behalf of your constituent, about dedicated electric vehicle car parking. Your letter has been passed to the
Department for Transport and I am replying as Minister responsible for this
issue.

As you are aware, the Government is committed to supporting ultra low
emission vehicles (ULEVs) and in bringing them to mass market in the UK.
The transition to ULEVs is a must if the UK is to meet its legally binding
greenhouse gas emission reduction targets and to improve air quality on and
around our roads. But we also want to ensure that the UK is at the global
forefront of this growing industry and its associated technologies to fully
exploit the huge industrial and growth benefits it will bring. We have a range
of initiatives in place to help support this aim. Our long term vision is that from
2040 every new car will be a ULEV and that by 2050 the fleet will be
effectively decarbonised.

The points your constituent raises are important ones and in particular the
point he makes about the role effective signage can play to help overcome
barriers to greater ULEV uptake, is well made and one which I agree with.
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV - a cross-cutting team funded by
this Department, the Department for Energy and Climate Change and the
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) is committed to addressing
signage as stated in our 'Driving the Future Today A strategy for ultra low
emission vehicles in the UK' which we published in September 2013.
Specifically we said that we would "work with the recharging industry and
network operators to take account of driver needs when installing
infrastructure, developing best practice guidance on signage and information
on chargepoint functionality". As part of this commitment, OLEV is
collaborating with the Highways Agency, which is responsible for Motorway
signage, and working to progress this policy as soon as possible.

In terms of the other issues raised by your constituent, enforcing parking
regulations is the responsibility of Local Authorities and therefore it will vary
from area to area. Your constituent may want to raise many of the issues in
his letter with his Local Authority. We are aware that the issue of EV charging
spaces being taken up by non-EVs is a source of great frustration for EV
drivers and becoming an ever more pressing issue with the really significant
increase in EV uptake that is now underway. With regard to parking spaces
for ULEVs on private land such as supermarket car parks, it is up to the
landlord to ensure that their parking rules are adhered to.

If your constituent is interested in reading the full strategy document
mentioned above, it can be accessed via the link below:
https://www.qov.uk/qovernmenUuploads/system/uploads/attachment data/file
/239317 /u ltra-low-emission-veh icle-strateqy. pdf

I hope that this clarifies the situation.
 

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You heard it here first....
I just wish the Green party were in with a shot! Under Proportional Representation, they would probably do a lot better, other than 1 seat...but then again so would the BNP!
 
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