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Electric charging points support cleaner air

Clean Air Day 2019
Cllr Judith Guthrie plugs into one of the new electric charging points at the Time Square multi-storey car park.
Published: Tuesday, 18th June 2019

Thursday 20 June is Clean Air Day – and Warrington Borough Council is taking a major step to encourage the uptake of low emission electric vehicles into the town centre.

The Council has installed 56 charging points for electric vehicles at the Time Square multi-storey car park, as part of its long-term commitment to reducing pollution.

The launch of the new electric charging points – one of the largest number at any one location in the country - comes as the council throws its support behind Clean Air Day 2019, which encourages everyone to take steps to help make the air cleaner.

Clean Air Day is the nationwide air quality awareness day, organised by the behaviour-change charity Global Action Plan. It gives people the chance to find out more about air pollution, share information with friends and colleagues, and help make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.

The council formally adopted its Air Quality Action Plan in 2018, which aims to reduce nitrogen dioxide levels within the main, busy traffic routes leading into and around the town - and where possible to deliver wider improvements across Warrington.

The 17-point plan includes some firm, immediate actions, such as an increased focus on sustainable transport, encouraging cleaner fuels and electric vehicles, new cycling and walking links, and an intelligent transport system.

Now, the council is asking residents to support Clean Air Day – and the wider work to reduce pollution - by thinking about what small lifestyle changes they could make.

Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member for environment, Cllr Judith Guthrie – who drives an electric car herself - said: “I’m delighted that our new electric charging points are up-and-running. It’s an important part of our plans to protect Warrington’s environment, now and in the future.

“We are committed to developing a cleaner, safer and less car-dominated environment throughout the borough and we have set out an action plan to achieve this. You can support us by doing your bit, whether that’s by walking to school, cycling into work or using public transport.

“Clean Air Day is the perfect time to think about what steps you can take to help improve our air quality – which in turn will help improve the health of local people. It’s an issue that affects us all – so I hope as many local people as possible get involved.”

Much of our air pollution is caused by the large volume of traffic on our roads.  Steps people could take to make a difference on Clean Air Day include:

•    Walk or cycle instead of driving. Not only does this save money but also improves your general health. Do you need to drive your children to school or could you walk with them instead? 
•    Use public transport. Why not consider going by bus or by train instead of the car?
•    Car share. Many car journeys only have one occupant. Consider car share for the journey to work. It reduces cost and is more social. 

The council is also about to launch a new website, as part of its commitment to keeping people informed about Warrington’s Air Quality Action Plan and raising awareness about air quality in the borough. It will include interactive maps, a search-by-property function, information about Air Quality Management and Smoke Control Areas, and access to all the air pollution data monitored by the Council at over 30 locations across the borough.

For more information about Clean Air Day 2019 and how you can get involved, visit cleanairday.org.uk. You can also help spread the word on social media by using #CleanAirDay

Notes to editors

•    Owning an electric car will save you over 70% in fuel costs as well as helping to improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions.

•    Electric vehicles are currently slightly more to buy than the equivalent petrol but the government offers grants of up to £3,500.  Costs are falling and electric cars are predicted to be cheaper than petrol ones by 2024.  The government will ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040. 

•    Finding an electric vehicle charging point is getting easier and easier.  There are now over 6,000 charging locations across the UK, with more than a dozen public charging locations in Warrington.  This includes the 60 new charging points at the Time Square multi-story car park.  To find publically available charging points, use the interactive map at www.zap-map.com

•    Charging at home is also now easier.  All new homes in Warrington with off road parking must now have charging points.  For existing homeowners, government grants are available of up to £500 for the installation of a charging point.