Parking fines: Drivers could face new fines for ‘bay blocking’ in electric car spaces
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Petrol and diesel car owners may soon be slapped with fines if they are detected “bay blocking” in parking spaces reserved for electric vehicles. A new scheme will reportedly use sensors to detect cars parked in bays which are not using the charging facilities.
Drivers found to be taking up electric bays with non-electric vehicles may be slapped with fines of up to £70 under the scheme.
According to The Times, the scheme is aimed at encouraging more drivers to make the switch to zero-emission electric cars.
Though traffic wardens can currently fine drivers who park fuel cars in electric spaces if they see them, the new scheme will ramp up efforts to catch offenders out.
One council already implementing the scheme is Coventry Council.
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Coventry was recently named “the best for EV infrastructure” in the UK.
Research found there is currently, on average, one charing device for every 15 plug-in cars registered in the UK.
However, in Coventry there is approximately one device per 2.3 registered plug-in car owners.
Now, the city is working with tech firm Appyway to roll out special sensors across the city to discover when vehicles are parked in the EV charging spaces.
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Other areas which have been flagged as having a good ratio of charging points per registered electric cars are Fermanagh and Omagh in Northern Ireland, Wandsworth in London and the Isle of Anglesey.
Brighton and Hove, Sunderland, Eden, Pembrokshire and Middlesbrough were also listed in the top 10.
Currently, drivers found parking in council-owned electric vehicle charging points by a traffic warden can face fines.
However, the fine depends largely upon the individual council.
The rules should also apply to those caught parking in electric charging bays in supermarket car parks.
James Walker, founder of dispute resolution service Resolver said: “Fines would be applied by the owner of the space – the firm that runs it – and the usual rules would therefore apply.
“There would have to be clear signage explaining the penalties for parking in this area and failure to do this – or unclear or hidden warnings – would mean you’d be able to appeal.”
In January, Lancashire City Council passed new legislation making it illegal to park in EV charging bays without an electric car.
Prior to that, there had been no legal law surrounding parking near charging points.
Electric car owners had previously been forced to wait until non-electric vehicles moved out of the way.
The majority of charging facilities will take three hours to completely top-up a car from low to maximum charge.
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