Rugby League legend Martin Offiah MBE was back in Widnes today to help launch Halton Borough Council’s electric car-charging scheme.
The former Widnes star, Great Britain and England international, joined Council representatives to see the new residential on-street charging points at Routledge Street, one of five locations in the borough.
Offiah, 54, became passionate about electric vehicles several years ago and is now a brand ambassador for EV charging specialist, Connected Kerb.
Connected Kerb is working with the Council to review sites where chargers are most needed. Last year, a grant of £74,250 was awarded from the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles to install 29 charging points across the five locations.
Halton’s other EV charge points are Halton Road, Wellington Street, Albert Road North, and Appleton Village. Further locations are being explored for Phase Two.
Cllr Stef Nelson, the Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, says: “We have installed the charge points to encourage local residents to think about switching to electric cars, and help improve air quality. They are in streets where there is a shortage of off-street parking, so that people without driveways have the same opportunity as those with drives to charge up a car.
“The sites offer capacity for more charging bays in the future and the opportunity in the longer term for air quality monitoring and Wi-Fi benefits. We will also soon be consulting in a number of other neighbourhoods to confirm locations for the next phase.”
Chris Pateman-Jones, CEO of Connected Kerb, commented: “Halton Council is showing real initiative in ensuring its residents have the opportunity to confidently switch to EVs. The transport team have been proactive in researching a significant amount of sites for deployment, and we are really looking forward to a wider roll out in Phase Two.”
Halton residents living near the existing five charging sites are now invited to apply to become an EV Ambassador as part of an EV trial scheme. Selected residents will be able to book an EV for a month and charge at Connected Kerb sites for free.
Paul Rushworth, of Fairfield Road, Widnes, is the first to be selected and is looking forward to getting behind the wheel of an electric Renault Zoe.
Paul knows a bit about cars having been in the motor vehicle trade for over 40 years, owning Rushworth’s garage. He says: “It is something we will all have to embrace and it’s important to have the charging points ready. I’m sure as things move forward we will see some good deals and offers on electric cars.”
A total of six drivers will be chosen for the scheme. Residents can apply at www.connectedkerb.com/evtrial