Monday, June 17, 2024

Yorkshire’s National Parks launch new electric vehicle chargers to cut visitor driving emissions

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Automobile Magazine
Editor | News | United Kingdom

Yorkshire’s National Parks (Yorkshire Dales National Park and North York Moors National Park) have announced that 18 new electric vehicle (EV) charging points are now live, funded by BMW UK through its Recharge in Nature partnership with National Parks UK.

This enhancement of the EV network in Yorkshire is the next important milestone in the Recharge in Nature partnership, which will install EV chargers across all 15 of the UK’s National Parks by the end of 2025. The three-year initiative will support the use of electric cars both for visitors and also for those who live and work in the National Parks – and so help to reduce both emissions and noise pollution in these precious landscapes.

Twelve of the new EV charge-points have been installed in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, at the Malham National Park Visitor Centre; the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes; and Grassington National Park Visitor Centre. Meanwhile in the North York Moors, six chargers can be found at Sutton Bank National Park Centre, with an additional six chargers set to be installed at Danby Lodge National Park Centre.

Neil Heseltine, Chair of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and National Parks Partnerships’ Board Member, commented: “The Yorkshire Dales National Park alone welcomed 5.1 million visitors in 2022. We’re so pleased that our partnership with BMW UK will support those who are travelling to Yorkshire’s National Parks in EVs, to do so with more confidence. Part of our responsibility as National Parks is to conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of our Parks [1] and this includes facilitating more sustainable journeys to Yorkshire’s National Parks.”

The UK has nearly 54,000 public charging points but one third of these are currently in London. [2] With 93 million visits [3] to the UK’s National Parks made by car each year, this enhancement of the network throughout National Parks, supported by BMW, means more travel options for those choosing to drive.

Graham Biggs, Corporate Communications Director, BMW UK, said: “The UK’s EV infrastructure rollout is continuing at pace and we need to see this accelerate to reach at least 300,000 charge-points by 2030. It’s important that the distribution of these chargers is spread right across the UK and we need to ensure that our countryside is brought up to speed with the bigger cities. Access to nature for everybody is so important and we’re pleased to be supporting the Recharge in Nature partnership to enable and encourage this through EV infrastructure, bus services and community engagement programmes.”

Alongside the installation of EV chargers throughout all National Parks, the Recharge in Nature partnership is also supporting community impact and nature restoration projects unique to the individual National Parks. The North York Moors National Park is using BMW funding to support outdoor volunteering programmes for families and young adults. The goal is to boost the physical and mental wellbeing of those volunteering and establish a community of committed conservationists. An important aspect of this is also ensuring young people have a say in the National Park’s decision-making processes.

Heather McNiff, Head of Outdoor Learning and Engagement at the North York Moors National Park, said: “Historically we have lots of very young volunteers, as well as people aged over 40, but we’ve struggled to engage individuals that fall between those age brackets. Thanks to BMW UK’s funding we’re able to support ‘Youth Plus’, which provides more opportunities for those aged 16 and over to engage with volunteering in the National Park. We’re passionate that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and so BMW’s funding also supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or those with additional accessibility requirements to access the National Park and its volunteering programmes.”

The BMW Group has set clear CO2 reduction targets across the lifecycle of every vehicle and is constantly seeking new ways to cut emissions. By 2030, the average CO2 emissions per vehicle will be at least halved from 2019 levels. BMW Group was one of the first automotive brands to join the Business Ambition for 1.5°C as part of the Paris Climate Agreement – the most robust commitment to the goal of full climate neutrality, over the entire value chain, by 2050 at the latest. By doing so, the company is also part of the Race to Zero.

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