There's better places than outside homes, says Kettering woman as electric parking sites revealed

Residents have from November 4 to take part in the consultation

A terraced Kettering street where residents are already pushed for car space could see four parking points make way for electric vehicle only charging bays.

Many living in Hawthorn Road struggle to park near their house at times and the site is one of 15 in the north of the county where new on-street electric vehicle charging points are proposed.

A consultation has been launched and the proposal could be the most controversial as it is the only place directly outside where residents are already pushed for space.

The Hawthorn Road points could be positioned outside three houses and one business

One of the two 24-hour charge-and-go spaces is proposed to be directly outside the home of Hawthorn Road resident Anne-Marie Farrell.

The space outside her house would be used for fast charging but no parking at any other time.

She said: "I am worried. I certainly don't want it. I don't think anyone wants a filling station outside their bedroom. Will they be queuing? There are certainly better places than outside residents' homes. We struggle to park on the street here and we know that and you get used to it, but it's taking away four spaces and we will never get to park outside our house again, or put a skip outside.

"I've been on the website and looked at the photos of all the other proposed points and this is the only one that impacts us as residents."

Kettering electric vehicle proposed recharging points - shown by blue stars

Neighbour Karen Butler could have a recharging only parking place from 8am to 6pm outside her house.

She said: "If we are to become more environmentally friendly then we have to make a start somewhere. It is a move in the right direction. Living on a terraced street we can never park outside our house anyway. It's an inconvenience so it's no different.

"We might get an electric car if there's the charging point."

An area-wide consultation has been launched on proposed on-street electric vehicle charging points across six north Northamptonshire towns with 15 sites on plans.

Electric vehicle recharging points could be installed across the area

Residents near the sites for consideration in Corby, Higham Ferrers, Kettering, Oundle, Rushden and Wellingborough have received letters and information packs from Liberty Charge inviting them to have their say on the proposed sites.

Liberty Charge are running the project on behalf of North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) using the infrastructure the build capabilities and network assets of Virgin Media, a Liberty Global subsidiary.

Liberty Charge is a joint venture between Liberty Global - owners of Virgin Media - and Zouk Capital, that will use Virgin Media's existing network and presence.

Cllr Graham Lawman, NNC executive member for highways, travel and assets, said: "Electric vehicles provide a low-emission solution to driving and the installation of charging points will help those who currently, or plan to, own an electric vehicle charge their vehicle with ease.

Corby - blue stars on the map

"It is vital we consider investment in charging points for those who have no access to a private drive and those visiting our town centres and supporting the retail economy.

"As a driver of an electric vehicle myself, I am acutely aware of the need for charging points and am delighted we are taking part in this scheme."

In the plans, bays have been designated for either recharging only parking places from 8am to 6pm with a maximum of four hours stay (no return within an hour) or 'electric vehicle recharging only at all other times'.

All of the proposed points, except Hawthorn Road, are not directly outside people's doors.

In Corby, two four-car bays have been proposed in Glastonbury Road and Burghley Drive.

Oundle's electric vehicle users could have two bays in Market Square and Rushden residents can travel to Southfields off Park Road where bays have also been earmarked.

Oxford Street Wellingborough

In nearby Higham Ferrers, bays in High Street could be converted into electric charging bays only close to the shops, while three different locations in Wellingborough have been proposed for Cannon Street, Midland Road and Oxford Street.

Kettering could see the largest investment in electric vehicle parking infrastructure with seven locations across the town under consideration. The company has selected stretches of Kingsley Avenue, Shakespeare Road, Pollard Street, Rockingham Road, Park View and Montagu Street as well as Hawthorn Road.

Two elements to the consultation will run in parallel - a location of election vehicle points consultation with a survey run by Liberty Charge which seeks the views from residents on the proposal to install charging points at the proposed locations - and a statutory traffic regulation order consultation run by NNC to look at the associated parking enforcements which would be required at each site.

Any objections to the proposed order must state the grounds on which they are made and sent in writing to the Traffic Orders Section, Northamptonshire Highways, Highways Depot, Old Harborough Road, Brixworth, NN6 9BX or by email to [email protected]

The consultation is also open to wider members of the public and can be completed online.

Cllr Jason Smithers, leader of NNC, said: "In July, NNC declared a climate and environment emergency and our work with Liberty Charge to install additional electric vehicle charging points in North Northants reflects this declaration. We also value our resident’s opinions and ask those who live near to the proposed sites as well potential users and residents to have their say."

Residents will have been given three weeks to comment or fill in the survey or object.

Details of the proposed Traffic Regulation Order can be found online from Thursday, November 4 for sites in Wellingborough, Kettering and Corby, with consultation closing on Thursday, November 25, and from Saturday, November 13 for sites in Higham Ferrers, Rushden and Oundle, with consultation on these locations closing on Saturday, December 4.

Representatives from Liberty Charge will also take part in North Northamptonshire Council’s virtual climate change conference, NNClimate21, on Tuesday, November 16 where a number of topics will be discussed, including sustainable travel.

According to the Liberty Charge website when searching for potential areas, the selection team analyses the following information: how many electric vehicles are owned by residents, resident requests lodged with the council, data that predicts future uptake, the type of housing and the existence of Virgin Media infrastructure.

Once the most optimum area is determined, streets are identified using information how close an area is to local amenities and shops, the width of the pavement, a location at least 2.5m away from a lamp post and locations away from residential homes.

Midland Road Wellingborough
Cannon Street Wellingborough
Southfields, Rushden
Market Place Oundle
High Street Higham Ferrers