Confusion for electric car drivers over charging at Yate park and ride
YATE'S new park and ride has left electric car users puzzled – and there are concerns that confusion is putting people off using it.
The site is aimed at commuters and shoppers travelling into Bristol – an hour each way on the bus - into central Yate or using the nearby station.
But a popular phone app for charging electric cars says that anyone who leaves one plugged in for more than 90 minutes will be fined £10.
South Gloucestershire Council has asked for the app to be updated, while councillors and the AA have called on the council to put up new signs making it clear electric car drivers won’t be charged for overstaying.
The £4.5 million park and ride was opened next to the council’s HQ on Badminton Road in February.
It includes 198 car spaces, 46 secure bike parking places and 38 electric charging points.
As an added incentive, drivers who plug in a car will be able to park for free instead of paying the £2.60 a day parking fee due to be introduced for other drivers later this year.
But one of the most popular apps for electric car charging, Zap-Map, lists the park and ride as having a £10 fine for anyone staying more than 90 minutes in an electric vehicle bay.
It says this charge is only for 'rapid' charging, which can charge the average electric car in under an hour – but there are no rapid chargers at the park and ride.
AA head of roads policy Jack Cousens said: “The new slow charging capability at Yate Park & Ride is to be commended, however this good work could be rapidly undone if left unresolved.
“EV drivers could become confused unless the situation is clarified and the signage is updated.”
A council spokesperson said officers had contacted Zap-Map to get the information changed and stressed: "There are no overstay fees associated with the EV charging points at Yate Park and Ride. "We are aware Zap-Map shows that there is a £10 charge for staying longer than 90 minutes in these spaces, but this is incorrect as it only applies to rapid charging points. We have raised it with them directly and asked them to update it.”
Yate town councillor Chris Willmore, who has an electric car, says the confusion is putting drivers off. She says many EV owners look up charging points on Zap App and use it as a guide, and while they know it sometimes has mistakes, the council could help clear up any confusion.
Chris said: "We wrote to South Glos to ask them to change the signs weeks ago. It is not rocket science.
“All we want is clarity."
The Voice has contacted Zap-Map for a comment.
Picture: One of the chargers at Yate Park and Ride