Report of the Transportation and Public Realm Director
The Committee considered a report on the need for electric vehicle (EV) charging in the City of London. The report proposed an overarching policy on charging for electric vehicles, balancing the benefit of providing charging facilities within the Square Mile at appropriate locations whilst guarding against the generation of additional vehicle trips and minimising the impact on the public realm.
A discussion took place during which the following points were raised:
· Members noted that the report proposed placing rapid charging points for taxis in Baynard House car park and raised concerns on this location, noting that charging points at taxi ranks might be more useful. Members added that the location in a car park may attract additional vehicles to the City solely to use the charging points.
· Members raised their concerns on the low number of charging points proposed and noted that the City should be leading the way in this field. Members asked that there be an increased number of charging points and suggested that the plans should be more ambitious.
· Members considered that the City Corporation should be a leader in this area and that in addition to taxis, private cars should be able to use the rapid charging points
· Members asked whether the taxi drivers had been consulted on the proposals.
In response to the queries raised by Members, the Director of Transportation and Public Realm explained that:
· Officers had worked with both TfL and consulted taxi drivers in order to offer the appropriate number of charging points in locations that would be used by drivers. Officers believed that at this point, given the low number of zero emission taxis likely to be in service in 2018, that the new provision would be adequate. It was important to provide a service to the vehicles within the City, but a balance had to be struck in order to ensure the charging points were not an attraction for drivers who did not ordinarily travel into the City, as this would exacerbate the issues of congestion and pollution.
· Discussions had taken place with both the manufacturers of the taxis and the representative bodies of the drivers.
· It was important to bear in mind that the scheme was being funded by TfL. A review had been proposed to take place in December 2018 to assess the effectiveness of the charging points within the locations, but in light of Members’ comments, this would be brought forward to July 2018.
· Members asked that the Planning and Transportation Committee be made aware of their concerns on the ambitions of this project, the low number of proposed rapid charging points, and whether TfL had committed enough funding.
It was agreed to send a resolution in response to the Planning and Transportation Committee to communicate the Port Health and Environmental Services Committee’s comments and the importance they placed on this issue.
RESOLVED – That:
a) the report be noted;
b) a review of the project take place after six months; and
c) a note of the discussion be sent to the next meeting of the Planning and Transportation Committee.