A driver has complained after being fined £100 for parking too long at a service station while charging his electric vehicle. They complained that although the parking time was two hours, they had to wait an additional thirty minutes for a loader to become free.
“Others should be warned that when charging, it is easy to exceed the limit.”
In response, the Guardian car expert said: ‘The compulsory free parking period, which applies at service stations across the UK, belongs to a different era when two hours was more than enough to use the toilets and buy a meal.
“The rationale was that with no parking limits, the public would embrace gas stations as a destination for a fun day out, rather than a pit stop.
“As electric vehicles proliferate faster than public charging stations, some motorists may need more time.
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“In Abington, a punitive £15 parking charge comes into effect after two hours and many drivers won’t know they’ve exceeded the limit when recharging.
“If this is not paid, a PCN of £100 is issued
“Welcome Break, which operates the service station, says there are ‘strewn’ signs and it has a duty to ensure drivers leave quickly to make way for others.”
He said: ‘The parking policy reflects national highway guidelines which state that a two-hour break is sufficient for all drivers looking to rest while driving.’
National Highways said its guidelines were based on Department for Transport requirements and it had no authority to change parking limits.
The Ministry of Transport does not intend to increase the limit.
Instead, it said it was providing £1.3billion to increase charging stations and aimed to have 6,000 installed across the motorway service network by 2035.
The DfT said: “Our measures are increasing charging speeds, while making connection points more accessible, and today a driver is never more than 25 miles from a fast charging point anywhere. where along England’s main A roads and motorways.”
It comes as EV drivers are warned as major new legislation has been introduced today requiring most EV chargers to have smart charging capabilities.
Starting today, June 30, all home and work electric car chargers must have certain smart charging features.
The new rules aim to manage the pressure on the national grid with thousands of electric vehicles charging at the same time in England, Scotland and Wales.
Under the new rules, private electric vehicle charging stations sold for home or business use in Britain and all smart cables are covered by the regulations.