North West's biggest electric car charge hub now open at M6 Lancaster Junction 34
A new electric vehicle charging "super hub" has gone online at the Lancaster Park and Ride facility off Junction 34 of the M6.
Lancaster is expected to become a key stopping point for electric vehicle owners using the UK motorway network.
The site at Junction 34 features the largest concentration of public rapid chargers in the North West of England.
The 18 chargers are based on a Park and Ride site, offering drivers passing through Lancashire on longer journeys the opportunity to fully charge their vehicle in less than an hour, depending on the model, as well as being a convenient place to plug-in and catch a bus into Lancaster.
The opening of the charging hub in Caton Road marks a milestone in a partnership between Lancashire County Council and BP Chargemaster, with work nearing completion to install a 150-strong network of electric charging points throughout the county.
Most of these points are accessed via on-street parking bays created for the exclusive use of electric vehicles, with some also at transport hubs such as Park and Ride facilities and the Preston Bus Station car park.
County Coun Keith Iddon, Lancashire County Council cabinet member for highways and transport, said: "The charging super-hub at Lancaster marks another milestone in the evolution of motoring and the move towards electric vehicles.
"Lancashire is geographically at the centre of Great Britain and an ideal place for a facility such as this which should be popular with owners of electric vehicles making longer journeys through this area.
"The government has provided funding to establish 150 charging points in the county to increase take-up of electric vehicles, reduce emissions and improve air quality, and I'm glad that these points are now available for people to use.
"Most of the points are in town and city centres for the convenience of people making local journeys, but we've also recognised that our Lancaster Park and Ride site is strategically well-positioned to provide a service for all electric vehicle owners.
"The way the motor industry is evolving suggests we're only going to see people using more electric vehicles in the future, and I look forward to them becoming a more common sight in Lancashire."
Matteo de Renzi, CEO for BP Chargemaster, said: "Providing convenient and reliable rapid charging along the UK's motorway network will be key to supporting the uptake of electric vehicles over the coming years.
"We are proud to have opened the first public rapid charging hub on the M6 in partnership with Lancashire County Council, which has been a great partner in electrifying an entire county, helping drivers in the region to make the switch to electric vehicles."
Following its declaration of a climate emergency last year, Lancaster City Council has purchased a number of electric cars and vans as part of plans to replace its 160-strong fleet with zero emission vehicles.
Charging points have also been installed at five of the city council’s public car parks across the district, and later this year it plans to install rapid charging points for taxis.
Lancaster City Coun John Reynolds, cabinet member with responsibility for car parks, said: "Electric vehicles are the future and an important component in tackling climate change. As a country we need to be investing in the infrastructure to support them, which is why I’m so pleased to see the opening of this new 'super hub'.
“The city council is itself embracing the benefits of electric vehicles and I hope this will act as an incentive for many more people to take the plunge."