In the rush to foster demand for electric vehicles (EV), London is letting bulky EV charging points (EVCPs) clutter its footways. These installations take up scarce space and make life more difficult for pedestrians, especially those with visual impairments, wheelchair users, and parents and carers pushing buggies.
These installations are also inconsistent with the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy that requires a major modal shift to walking, cycling and public transport by reducing the use of motor vehicles, creating Healthy Streets, improving public realm and reallocating space for more efficient, active travel modes. Placing EV infrastructure on pavements is a move in the opposite direction.
London Living Streets is calling on councils to set out a policy for slow and rapid EV charging infrastructure, as a number have already done. The policy should follow the EV Infrastructure Checklist (available here) that prioritises EVCP locations for slow and rapid charging in the following order:
- Off street– the preference is to install slow and rapid EVCPs in car parks or other off-street locations. This infrastructure must be prioritised for EV car clubs
- Carriageway– where on-street EVCPs are essential, install them on the carriageway in well-designed buildouts. These should replace and not exceed the space of existing car parking bays.
- Footways should be the last resort and only if the installation allows 2.5m of clear footway space. Note that lamp-post charging is not a solution since trailing cables create trip hazards and street clutter.
If we continue to plan our towns and cities around cars, they will continue to be dominated by them. Government, Transport for London (TfL), councils and infrastructure providers must take a forward-thinking approach so that EV infrastructure supports the creation of safe, welcoming streets and influences driving behaviour to reduce the number of vehicles on roads.
Our EV Infrastructure Checklist is available here.
For more background, read our EV briefing document here.