To tackle out of control local air pollution, I’m working hard to put the deployment of electric vehicle charging points at the top of the agenda.
Lots of grants are available for local authorities to bid, especially on-street residents’ parking spaces. But spaces are at a premium in Hampstead, so Hampstead Heath car parks are often used not by day-trippers or walkers, but by people that park there every day.
Indeed, our local Conservative Party offices are right next to Hampstead Heath, so the Fairground car park is often used by visitors and staff.
Deploying charging points in the Heath car parks could make a big difference – alongside charging points for residents – in transforming the opportunities for electric vehicle ownership by Hampstead residents and visitors.
The Fairground car park has 200 spaces, Jack Straw’s has 70, Kenwood has 100, and Parliament Hill has 50. Together, this number of vehicles is a big proportion of the number that drive through Hampstead, snarling it up day after day.
As such, as well as working to ensure Camden itself deploys more charging points, I have asked the City of London Corporation, who run the Heath, to ensure they have plans to introduce charging points. After some perseverance, they’ve committed to studying the possibility, and I look forward to pressuring them further to ensure it happens.
There are other advantages, including potentially using the ramped-up electricity supply to the charge points to power some of the fairground: reducing the amount of diesel that has to be used in generators and thus tackling the overbearing smell and thick, acrid air that hangs over the site and nearby properties when in use.
Working with other bodies is hugely important to ensuring the best outcome for residents. With any luck, we’ll have hundreds of new electric vehicle charge points on our doorstep, thanks to the City of London.
For more about my campaign to reduce air pollution, click here.