Owners of fully electric vehicles can cross Itchen Bridge in Southampton, UK, free of charge with a SmartCities card. The electric vehicle concession forms part of Southampton City Council’s Air Quality Strategy to reduce air pollution in the city and encourage the uptake of low emission vehicles. The concession is available to electric vehicle drivers living in council areas in Hampshire.
Civic chiefs say the scheme will be reviewed annual – and could even be withdrawn in the future. Councillor Jacqui Rayment, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Transport and Public Realm, said: “Southampton City Council is dedicated to reducing harmful pollution from vehicle exhaust fumes. The introduction of the electric vehicle concession for Itchen Bridge users is testament to our commitment in delivering our Clean Air Strategy and making Southampton a healthy, safe place to live and work.”
Eligible drivers can find out more about the scheme and apply for a SmartCities card at https://www.southampton.gov.uk/roads-parking/travel/smartcities-card/itchen-electric-vehicle-business-cards.aspx
The scheme follows the introduction of 30 new electric vehicle charging points in five of Southampton’s multi-storey car parks earlier this year. Other incentives include a 90 per cent reduction in annual city centre season ticket parking fees for electric car owners and offering taxi drivers cashback on licensing fees if they replace older more polluting vehicles with low emission alternatives.
The scheme comes amidst the council’s Clean Air Consutlation Zone. One possible outcome could be to charge commercial vehicles, including lorries and buses, up to £100 a day to enter the city. The consultation is due to end on September, 13