Government 'plan for drivers' includes series of measures to speed up electrification

Mon 02 October 2023 View all news

Alongside the Prime Minister's announcement at the Conservative Party conference of the issues surrounding net zero, the Government has published a 'plan for drivers' which focuses on speeding up the electrification of road transport while pushing back against perceived 'anti-car' measures.

The publication of the plan follows the recent announcement of the Government's decision to delay the end of sale of standard ICE cars and vans.

The change has been widely reported as an attempt to draw political dividing lines between the Government and opposition on environmental policy as a general election approaches.

Measures announced on electrification include those to: 

  • Speed up grid connections. Review grid connections process for EV chargepoints, with the aim of accelerating it. This measure will apply to England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Faster chargepoint installation. Consult on measures to speed up the approvals process for installation of chargepoints.
  • Greener schools. Provide dedicated, targeted support for schools to install chargepoints, using existing grants. This measure will apply UK-wide.
  • Easier on-street charging. Widen eligibility of EV chargepoint grants to include cross-pavement solutions, to make EV ownership a more practical option for those without off-street parking. This measure will apply UK-wide.
  • Safer on-street charging. Provide guidance on the use of safe cross-pavement solutions.
  • Easier chargepoint installation. Consult on the expansion of permitted development rights, making private chargepoint installation cheaper and easier.
  • Getting the word out. Work with industry to myth-bust concerns about EVs. This measure will apply UK-wide.

In total, the plan includes 30 actions under five headings: 'Smoother journeys'; 'Stopping unfair enforcement'; 'Easier parking'; 'Inconsiderate driving' and the 'Transition to zero emission vehicles'. 

The foreword to the document says: 'This long-term plan will...explore options to stop local councils using so-called “15-minute cities”, such as in Oxford, to police people’s lives; we will restrain the most aggressively anti-driver traffic management measures. We will make it clear that 20mph speed limits in England must be used appropriately where people want them – not as unwarranted blanket measures. We will take steps to stop councils profiting from moving traffic enforcement.

"Cars’ environmental impacts are often held up as a reason for anti-driver measures, but the shift to cleaner vehicles makes this increasingly unjustified. We can decarbonise and maintain our freedoms. Zero emission vehicles are better for the planet, for the neighbourhoods they drive through and for the people who use them. More and more, people are making this choice."

The Government's broader policy shift on net zero has been criticised by a range of stakeholders. The International Energy Agency said that countries that water down green policies risk worsening the climate crisis and damaging their own economies.

Zemo Partnership issued a statement in response to the Prime Minister's policy statement on net zero in September.

Image: Courtesy, SuperStraho, Unsplash


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