Our country has started on the path to change to electric vehicles, which is likely to speed up as the years go by. Last week, our Conservative Government announced the investment of £37 million to revolutionise the experience of owning an electric vehicle, which will help more people realise the benefits of electric vehicles and speed up our journey to a zero-emission future.
The Government’s target is to ensure that at least half of new car sales are ultra-low emission by 2030 and to end completely the sale of new conventional petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2040. This is one of the most ambitious targets in the world.
There will be difficulties along the way. The lack of suitable on-street charging points is one of the biggest strategic barriers to the mass adoption of electric vehicles. It will be ease of access to quality electric vehicle charging infrastructure that will change this. This Government investment will support twelve major engineering projects that could massively expand the network of charging points, which is vital for those without off-street parking.
Long-term future planning for transport is important. Along with this investment in charging points, I was also pleased to hear last week that our Conservative Government announced a £150 million scheme to upgrade Gatwick Train Station. This will help to reduce train delays (including positive knock-on effects at Three Bridges, Crawley and Ifield) and provide easier connections for Crawley passengers as well as airport passengers. Gatwick now has 46 million flying passengers every year and 20 million of them come in by train. The renovation is due to start next year and will enable more passengers to arrive/depart by train rather than creating more traffic and delays on our local motorways and A-Roads.
Gatwick is hugely important to Crawley and the wider area. Having excellent rail and road links to Gatwick is important for its success. While the current works to upgrade the M23 to a ‘Smart Motorway’ are frustrating, once they are completed next spring, Gatwick and Crawley’s motorway connection to London and the M25 will be much improved.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
17th July 2019