Shropshire's first public e-car point unveiled
Electric car owners will be able to recharge their vehicles any time of the day or night when the county's first public hook up point is officially launched.
The £10,000 scheme in Church Stretton will see Shropshire's first-ever charging point in a public car park unveiled on Friday, outside the town's Co-Op store.
The venture was a joint effort between Stretton Climate Care, Co-Op, Church Stretton Town Council and Shropshire Council.
Jon Cooke, spokesman for Stretton Climate Care, said: "As a group we are very conscious of reducing carbon emissions.
"We became aware a grant was available from Plugged in Midlands for 60 per cent of the costs and luckily we were able to provide the rest.
"It has taken us more than nine months to get it installed because to obtain the grant the charge point had to be owned by the local authority, so Church Stretton Town Council now owns it. The Co-Op will initially provide the electricity for free and Shropshire Council has provided two parking spaces."
Mr Cooke said Church Stretton was an ideal location for the county as it was near the middle of Shropshire and also close to the busy A49.
"It will take electric car owners about three hours to fully charge their batteries and we hope they spend some time walking around Church Stretton," he said.
"There are other charging points in Shropshire, such as the Asda in Shrewsbury, and another in Leominster, but Shropshire has been slow to put these in.
"There is a big black hole here and it stops people with electric cars visiting the area.
"The charging points also automatically show up on an electric car's sat nav so this should bring more visitors in to the county."
The scheme has also been supported by the Green Party, which hopes the venture will help support other sustainable projects. Local member Janet Phillips said: "The Green party is delighted motorists now have access to an electric vehicle charging point in the Strettons.
"This will encourage more people to switch from climate damaging petrol and diesel to electricity and it boosts the ecological and environmental reputation of the Strettons as a place to visit in ways that reduce our total environmental footprint. The Green Party congratulates Stretton Climate Care for its sustained hard work and funding of this project.
"Charging points are part of a much bigger picture that includes much improved rail services, electrification of our railway line, a bus-rail interchange at Church Stretton station and frequent bus connections to all our outlying villages, following the world beating model of Swiss rural public transport."