Low Carbon Transport for Powys

There have been a number of recent initiatives that will help bring low carbon electric transport to Mid Wales, Our AM Russel George has called meetings and undertaken a report within the Welsh Government. The WG themselves have a fund for installing the ‘rapid’ (20 min) chargers across Wales so that travellers community through Mid Wales can do so on electric. Powys County Council has as similar fund but for ‘fast’ (2-4 hours) chargers that will encourage people to stop-a-while. So-called Destination Chargers will appear on a PCC owned car park in most of our towns shortly.

What are missing are three things:

  1. A more comprehensive charging network. Complementing both PCC’s and WG’s (and perhaps influencing where these go) but focused on meeting identified needs and opportunities at the town level;
  2. Direct support to get electric vehicles in to car clubs and indeed to get car clubs set up in a series of towns across Mid Wales;
  3. Utilising these chargers and electric vehicles to make a difference – specifically in areas such as community transport (which is under immense pressure) and in connecting to public transport (taking advantage of rail line, of new Newtown by-pass and the recent impetus behind developing a greater tourism promotion for Mid Wales).

A coordinated approach to both introducing electric vehicles and in to identifying how their introduction can provide optimal benefits socially and economically is proposed.

Open Newtown has agreed to submit this bid and to coordinate this project. They want to be clear that this is NOT a Newtown only project. It ONLY works of four towns that connect Mid Wales East-to-West join in. Open Newtown sees itself as the coordinator for this project and not the beneficiary.

The project presents an opportunity to draw in learning from Wales and the UK (we have a national EV expert Chris Endacott of GFleet on retainer for this project) and to test use of electric vehicles (EVs) as a low cost, low carbon transport solution to transport poverty in market towns and rural areas in North Powys, establishing a model available for replication. They are in the unique position of being able to work across four towns.

A project co-ordinator will:

  1. Undertake twenty month action-research project. Beginning in early summer 2019 and completing in December 2020.  At its heart it will launch and establish electric vehicles in Mid Wales and leave a financially sustainable legacy of car clubs and a population switched on to low carbon travel.
  2. At the outset enable a charging infrastructure to be installed in all four towns during the latter half of 2019. There will also be a link to work being undertaken by Powys County Council (and also the Welsh Government) to develop a county-wide charging infrastructure;
  3. Support existing (Llani and Mach) car clubs and directly support new car clubs (Welshpool and Newtown) to be set up. As part of this it will bring nearly new electric vehicles in to each town at an affordable level;
  4. Most certainly deliver car clubs and electric vehicles on the ground but also force us to explore three already identified areas of need, namely:
    1. The best model for Mid Wales for setting up and running car clubs and through them introducing electric vehicles to the wider population;
    2. The best way for car clubs and electric vehicles to impact upon:
      1. Supporting community transport schemes such as Dial-A-Rides and volunteer driver schemes to encourage greater support and / or lower costs at a time they are under immense pressure to do more for less;

Integrating with our public transport system to optimise opportunities for Active Travel (non-recreational journeys) and to boost tourism and recreational journey in and out of our towns.

Project details

Funding amount:
Funding source:
LEADER Local Development Fund


Louise Nicholson
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