TMS have been touring the UK to undertake various Road Safety Audits on infrastructure associated with sustainable power installation, such as solar farms, electric vehicle charging points and battery storage facilities.
There has been rapid growth in electric vehicle charging (EV) points in the UK since the first electric vehicle charging points were installed in the early 2000’s. However, since the mid 2010’s EV charging points have become a common sight on the public highway and car parks throughout the UK. In January 2015 there were 2,283 charging devices, with 195 of these being rapid charging or above. Compare that to June 2023, where there are now over 44,000 charging devices with over 8,000 of these being rapid or above.
The rise of fully electric cars has also followed a similar trend. According to ZapMap, in 2016 there were 30,669 fully electric vehicles there are now 816,668 in 2023. At the end of 2016 just 0.4% of all new vehicles registered were electric, this had risen to 16.6% by the end of 2022.
To cope with the increasing demand for electric vehicles, many of our clients are proposing to install rapid EV chargers (100KW) on the public highway in city centre locations. If electric vehicles are going to be an option for city centre residents, there is a requirement for an effective and convenient network of public charge points for everyone to use.
The Birmingham city-wide EV charge point strategy is an example of what local authorities can do to ensure that residents (particularly those who do not have access to off-street parking), taxi drivers, commercial fleets and visitors to the city, have access to a convenient charge point when they choose to go electric.
Over the past year, we have carried out numerous design stage Road Safety Audits on EV charging points, at various locations within Birmingham City Centre and Barnet, for this very reason. Most of which utilising the existing marked parking bays with the addition of the kerbside charging unit. When carrying out a Road Safety Audit on electric vehicle charging points it is important to ensure that the location of the required infrastructure does not affect the safety of road users and pedestrians.
We have also audited a priority junction access on a dual carriageway in Essex for a proposed battery storage unit and an access for a solar farm installation in Oxfordshire. The accesses are required for the purpose of construction of the site and ongoing maintenance vehicles thereafter.
Road Safety Audits on such schemes are becoming more and more frequent as the country intensifies it’s move towards such power sources. TMS has carried out design stage road safety audits on both EV charging points and solar farms throughout the country, in places such as Greater London, Birmingham, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Hampshire.