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So I was in MK this morning for a short while and I'm pleased to say that on first impressions the new signage appears to be working quite well.

Only saw two EV spaces ICEd, and I think one of those was not in a "full time" EV spot, so potentially they could be entitled to be there anyway (maybe managed to translate the small signage into English and understand it).

Even better, a total of four Nissan LEAFs were charging merrily away, including ours. I also think it's great now as most of the spaces that were blocked are the correct plug for the new second generation LEAF (by default) whereas the perma-EV spaces were all 13 amp plug types. This can only help those without both options find a space to charge.

Can't help but think our town's charging map will make quite a few non-MK residents a little green with envy...

2013-11-18 10.27.49.jpg
 

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Still trying to get it in my head that I don't need to pay for parking. It is kind of changing the way I shop in MK. Think I'm actually going to the Centre more often, before I tried to avoid as much as possible as parking has always been a nightmare and/or expensive.
 

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We managed to park next to 2 other Leafs near the library yesterday. I have it on authority from a parking warden that we don't need to be charging to use the EV spaces. Handy for when they're offline and you don't need to charge as happened to me last week near the station.
 

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I'm sure the map shows more charging points now than when you took that photo. Have they got more online?
 

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I charged up in MK for the first time last week. I ended up plugging into a 13amp 3-pin socket which I thought was a bit strange, as I thought they were all modern type-2 posts. Gave me a good excuse to use my new Clipper Creek 10Amp charger though!

I had a look at the Open Charge Map during the week and noticed there are only a few 32amp posts scattered around the shopping centre. I'll have to have a drive one day when it's quiet to scout them out. Behind Currys is the only one I remember.

Interesting, I had a drive round by John Lewis and there are a few PodPoint charging posts. I don't have a PodPoint charging card so I couldn't get it working - I tried my Polar card just in case.

The parking seemed to be good, with big white letters 'Electric Vehicles Only' at the kerbside. I still think they need to put hatchings in the spaces so they really stand out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I had a look at the Open Charge Map during the week and noticed there are only a few 32amp posts scattered around the shopping centre. I'll have to have a drive one day when it's quiet to scout them out. Behind Currys is the only one I remember.
Trying to do that now on my computer as failed on my mobile, it's a pain in the backside. You can't "tick" to show/hide different types of chargers as far as I can tell, and some of the charge points appear to be INSIDE buildings in town, or they're clusters with no details, which then completely vanish when you click to zoom in?!

So, after about 30 minutes or more, here are what I THINK I can see so far as type-2 / 32a chargers.

  • By the council offices, NOT the ones out front, but the chargemaster posts at the side.
  • By Curry's Digital.
  • "Bottom left" corner of the Food Hall (if facing towards the shopping centre, so along "to the left" of the ones by Iceland).
  • By Taylor Wimpey head offices, close to Debenham's.
  • Apparently also some by Holiday Inn, and a few others further down in the more commercial district.
Open Charge Map doesn't seem to have way to link directly. And several just did the "vanish when zoomed in" trick, so no idea at all.
 

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I popped up on Saturday for a bit of a look and a quick shop. I headed off for the Curry's points but found them all ICE'd - I thought it was EV only up to 10am?

Anyway, having had a quick drive round, the quick answer to the charging point question seems to be, if the charge flaps are on the front of the post (facing you as you drive up to it) then they are 13A 3-pin plug types. If the flaps are located on the side of the post, then these seem to be the 32A type-2 types.

There seems to be a few of these charging posts down the Marks & Spencer end (on the Curry's side), and there's also an EV parking bay in the Marks & Spencer car park (although I think the latter may be limited to 2hrs parking - I haven't checked). I parked i the EV spaces down on the corner by M&S & returned after 1.5hrs. I was very surprised to find my car on its own with 2 spare spaces next to mine that hadn't been ICE'd, even though there were plenty of people looking for spaces. I didn't look at the sign to see if it was EV only, but could be worth remembering.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK, here's more confusion for you.

Drove in this morning to check out what's what for a new commute we may have to take once in a while over the next couple of months, just about all EV spaces ICEd in lower-CMK.

A man pulls into an EV space we're waiting on, seems to know what he's doing, so I asked him what's the deal, it says EVs, but the sign says permits, does he understand (because I don't). He says nope, but he has a permit, so is able to park there, he points out a warden down the road and says to ask him!

I call over the warden and the man and I listen for a while, he knows he's OK so gets off to work, and I continue to talk to the traffic warden.

Turns out, he says, you should IGNORE the new, clear, white road markings. Yep, ignore them. The writing on the signs (you know, the gibberish signs) are the only things to go by... But then it gets even more vague.

You can park in any EV spaces (with signs) without paying, even if not charging (we knew this), any car can park in them if the signage (not the on-road markings) say that's OK.

So ignore the road markings, only don't. But kind of.

What a mess, I can't blame anyone for ICEing a space in CMK at the moment, as it's a total shambles. :(
 

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Ah, i get it now.... the new, clear, white road markings are only there so you can see where the charging posts are, in case they're obscured by ICE vehicles.

Great plan :confused:
 

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Currently asking MK Council on twitter why spaces which appear to be EV only until 10am (you know, the ones with the STUPID signage) are ALWAYS blocked before 9am... They're not helping.
 

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Thanks for the info & for documenting the ongoing conversation. I didn't realise the parking was that complicated. I have to agree with the comments, either make the spaces EV only spaces (enforced) or don't.

I'm really at a loss as to how making them shared & more importantly unenforced, helps anybody and justifies the spend on charging posts.
 

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Still no reply, will nudge them on Monday, don't expect any clarity (or free spaces with that kind of signage).

Went into town shopping and eating on two occasions yesterday, managed to park in 13a charge places both times no problem, but 13a is so slow even a 90th birthday meal (few hours) gives you only a few miles back. Shame.

That said, there were plenty of EVs and plug-in hybrids about, which was GREAT to see. :D
 

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They appear to have taken the position that completely ignoring the question is the best approach. Might have to stop paying council tax if they're not going to talk to me, the blighters. :D
 

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From the comments, I wonder if the traffic enforcement officers are actually issuing tickets in the early morning (or even later in the day). If you knew you could issue some easy tickets every morning, wouldn't you head for these spaces first thing?

From the parking tickets that were reversed earlier this year due to invalid signage, I do wonder if the council have backed off until they have updated both the road marking and issued new signage. Well, maybe 2014 will bring some welcomed changes (by MK councils own comments).

On a side note, I managed to park on both Saturday & Sunday down by Marks & Spencer again (32A). I felt a right plum on Saturday, as I forgot to press the timer override, only to return to the car some 2hrs later expecting 90% or so charge and finding it at 62%... DOH!

I need to go & take a look at the EV spaces outside M&S at the bottom of the shopping centre. I have been looking at these from a distance both days and they are rarely occupied. I need to find out what the sign says as I'm intrigued why they're being left alone....
 

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So MK Council are coming across as totally clueless after another morning nudge (the spaces are ICEd, as they always are)...

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 10.20.08.png


And a few others have chimed in at different times, as a result of their replies!

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 10.19.13.png


Head > Wall and repeat...
 

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IMAG0114.jpg

With the Christmas shopping in MK well underway I think that all the charge points will be iced unless you get there very early in the morning. I have had some success earlier in the year.
 

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Parked in my usual spot again this morning, with none of the spots being occupied even on my return to my car at 11am. I think the sight of a charging vehicle confuses people as to whether they can park or not.

Anyway, on my way to my parking space, I noticed that the EV spaces within the M&S section that I have previously commented on as being largely empty every time I have driven passed, had a couple of non-EVs parked in them this morning, with a traffic warden walking in the immediate area.

Once parked, I walked over to the traffic warden to ask as to the rules for issuing parking tickets. He told me that he had just issued a ticket for one of the vehicles in question, but the other vehicle was displaying a valid disabled badge. Apparently ICE vehicles can park in the EV spaces at any time so long as they are displaying a valid disabled badge, which I didn't know.
 
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