Free parking for plug-in drivers: 15,000 new EV spaces in Milton Keynes

Published: 08 July 2016

£40 million nationwide electric car initiative
Four cities given Go Ultra Low City Status
15k free parking spaces for plug-ins in MK

Good news for alternative fuel car owners across the UK. Thanks to £40m worth of government funding, plug-in vehicle drivers will now be able to enjoy a range of benefits including free parking, extra charging hubs and access to carpool lanes. Coming as part of a nationwide initiative designed to increase the uptake of electric vehicles, it will be sure to please the ever-increasing number of plug-in vehicle owners in the UK.

Which cities have been granted the new Go Ultra Low City status?

The Go Ultra Low City status has been awarded to Bristol, London, Nottingham and Milton Keynes, with the latter’s promise of free parking being the first proposal from any winning bid to become a reality. Dubbed the ‘green parking permit’, it will enable owners of eligible cars to leave their vehicle in any one of the city’s 15,000 spaces – including drop off bays at railway stations and short stay shopping bays.

What car do I need to qualify?

To be eligible for the green parking permit in Milton Keynes, vehicles must produce under 75g/km of CO2 and be capable of ten miles of zero-emission driving. Proud owner of a 356bhp BMW i8? Free parking in Milton Keynes awaits you. Same with the 875bhp Porsche 918 Spyder, its 72g/km of CO2 sneaking under the local parking warden’s radar.

Future EV-related plans for the city include super-fast charging hubs, an EV experience centre, and priority for plug-in hybrids/EVs in bus lanes. Take your Tesla on a commute through Milton Keynes then and, not only will you be saving the planet, but you’ll also be able to sail past your combustion-powered colleagues on the way to work.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: ‘It is great to see the first part of Milton Keynes’ Go Ultra Low City plan become a reality. Thanks to the £9m of funding we have provided, thousands of local residents will now be able to park their electric cars for free.’

London meanwhile, was awarded £13m to create their ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’ scheme, offering parking and traffic priority to EV drivers – quite how this will work with the other multitude of priority vehicles in London is another matter.

Bristol’s carpool lanes will also now become the domain of the alternative fuel vehicle, while a plug-in car leasing scheme is sure to boost their numbers in the West Country. New charging points have also been sanctioned in Nottinghamshire, Derby, Dundee, Oxford and the North East. Solar-canopied Park and Ride hubs have also been given the go-ahead in York, aimed at reducing air pollution within the city. 

Tech focus: the future of electric car charging

BMW i8

By James Dennison

Head of automotive video for CAR magazine and our sister website