UK’s first accessible electric charging bay opens
NCP has opened the UK’s first recharging bay for electric vehicles to be accessible by disabled drivers at its new car park in Stanley Street, Salford.
First suggested by co-founders of the People’s Parking scheme, Helen Dolphin and Libbie Bilyard, only Blue Badge holders who need to charge their electric vehicles will be permitted to use the bay.
People’s Parking aims to improve the standard of car parks by highlighting those with facilities for disabled people, parents, commuters, cyclists and motorcyclists, electric and wheelchair accessible vehicles, as well as those that have clear signage, good lighting and are clean and well-managed.
Dolphin is a disabled driver herself and came up with the idea to further improve the organisation’s car park accreditation scheme.
She said: “I am only too aware of the increasing growth of electric vehicles and although I don’t have an electric vehicle myself, I knew that as a disabled person I would struggle to get out of my car in a standard-sized bay.
“I therefore wanted to encourage car park operators to consider the needs of electric vehicle owners who are disabled and I’m absolutely delighted that NCP have installed a dual bay in their new car park.”
NCP’s head of operations for Manchester, Sean Fenney, said: “We work very closely with Helen to really understand the needs of our disabled customers and to try to make our sites the best we possibly can.
“We were really pleased to be able to add our first dual electric charging bay for our disabled customers, as we expect that to be a very real need in the near future.”
The Department for Transport (DfT) praised the move by NCP. A spokesperson from DfT said: “We welcome measures that support the use of electric vehicles and are committed to ensuring that everyone in our society enjoys the same opportunities to travel.
“Our Road to Zero strategy, combined with £1.5 billion of investment in ultra-low emission vehicles, sets out a clear path for Britain to be a world leader in the zero emission revolution.”