A12, A14 and A11 set to get electric charging points every 20 miles by end of 2018
Funding to create rapid charging points every 20 miles along the A12, A14 and A11 has been approved in principal, and could be in use by the end of the year.
Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have been leading on a project on behalf of nine other local authorities in Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex, to obtain grant funding from Highways England for the entirety of the works along the three major routes.
The councils have confirmed that Highways England have agreed the funding in principal, and will make a final decision once a full plan and contractor have been finalised.
The plan for delivery is currently being worked on, with a final decision expected to be made by Highways England in June.
A council source said it is hoped that if approved, the points will be installed and in operation by the end of the year.
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David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Petrol stations are a familiar sight on our highways, in our towns and outside our supermarkets, and over the coming years electric charging points will become just as ubiquitous.
“This grant is a first step towards that and sets us on the right road to open our area up to electric motorists for decades to come.”
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A report prepared for Babergh’s council meeting said that the points would be more environmentally friendly and would also generate income, although it has not yet been disclosed where the funds would be invested.
Growth figures in the report suggest that by 2050 90% of all vehicles in the UK will be electric.
Head of intelligent transport systems at Highways England, Dr Joanna White said: “Highways England has a road investment period commitment to install rapid charge points so that our customers will be within 20 miles of a charge-point on 95% of the network by April 2020.
“We are working with a number of stakeholders to deliver this.
“Helping overcome the particular constraints of long distance travel for ultra-low emission vehicles is part of our air quality strategy to help accelerate the uptake of such vehicles.”
The scheme is the latest in a drive by the council to provide charging points, with recent additions in Sudbury and Hadleigh.