Charging points for electric vehicles are to be installed in the pavements of several side roads close to Barnet town centre -- and applications are being made for even larger self-standing charge points in front of the Everyman cinema and in East Barnet village which would be partly financed through video display advertising.
Notices warn residents in terraced houses in roads such as Union Street – see above -- that the charge points will be installed on the pavement just a few feet from their front doors.
Trojan Energy Ltd, which is to carry out the work for Barnet Council, says that in each of the four High Barnet roads, which are all within the controlled parking zone – Union Street, Salisbury Road, The Avenue, and The Drive – there will be up to 15 charge points five metres apart.
The charge points will be “seamlessly integrated” into the pavement by utilising Trojan’s “hassle-free flat and flush technology” so pedestrians will face no obstructions such a posts, boxes, or bollards.
Another company, Jolt Charge Ltd, has made planning applications to Barnet Council for large self-standing charge points on the Great North Road in front of the Everyman cinema and at 16-20 Church Hill Road, East Barnet.
The illustration above of a Jolt charger installed in Australia gives an indication of its dimensions – 2.7 metres tall and 1.2 metres wide. There would be advertising video display panels on each side.
The Barnet Society has lodged an objection to the charger proposed in front of the Everyman cinema on the grounds it would have undue prominence and harm the setting of a Grade II listed building. Robin Bishop, the society's planning lead, said the Everyman (formerly the Odeon cinema) was a striking landmark.
"Designed by Edgar Simmons in an elegant blend of art Deco and Moorish styles, it visually commands the road junction with Station Road. In both massing and detail, it is a fine example of a romantic but increasingly rare building type.
"Within five metres of the cinema's main entrance, Jolt proposes to locate its charger. It is as if the mysterious tablet in 2001, A Space Odyssey had landed -- with added illumination and animated displays. It must be consigned to outer space. The aliens should be informed that their unwanted clutter contradicts design and character guidance."
East Barnet Residents Association, which is opposed to the installation in East Barnet village, has criticised Barnet Council for reaching an agreement with Jolt Charge to install 120 charge points of this size across the borough. Advertising was said to be necessary to subsidise the charges to be paid by motorists.
Objections lodged with the council argue that a charge point with two advertising panels on either side will change the character of East Barnet village; will be a nuisance to pedestrians; and become an eyesore.
Barnet Council notices setting out details of the pavement-level charging points in the four side roads in High Barnet say that because the installations will be at ground level there will be no obstruction on the pavement.
These new charge points will provide Barnet with a “future proofed infra-structure” that will help residents who are making the transition to more sustainable modes of transport such as electric or hybrid vehicles.
There will be a total of 15 charge points in Salisbury Road – nine in permit holder bays and six in permit holder bays which also allow pay-by-phone parking.
Barnet Council insists that residents will notice no change in their current parking arrangements within the CPZ as all the existing restrictions remain the same.
Only residents with valid CPZ permits will have access to the charge points as well as visitors who display a valid visitor voucher – residents will be given a Jolt lance to connect to the charge point.
Union Street already has an electric vehicle charge point attached to a lamp post with a designated EV bay.
Nearby residents say the existing charge point is rarely used as most of those living in Union Street have petrol-driven cars and they cannot afford new electric vehicles.
“There has been no advance consultation about this plan and our fear is that it will be even more difficult for us to find somewhere to park,” said one Union Street resident.
The eight proposed pavements charging points are at the Stapylton Road end of Union Street and the view of householders was that they would probably end up being used by electric vehicles owned by residents from elsewhere in the CPZ zone.