Low Carbon Transport

Open Newtown has been awarded European funding to invest in an electric vehicle charging network across north Powys. In parallel, we are developing a new car club for the region, to help familiarise local householders to electric vehicle usage, and to explore new approaches for developing local community transport. Both components intended to help convert Mid Wales over to low carbon (EV) vehicles, to create & retain jobs and income from this transition and to use the new infrastructure to support affordable access to travel for communities and those in need. 

We are working in collaboration with partners in Machynlleth, CaerswsCarno and Welshpool to establish a string of car clubs along the Cambrian Railway Line, using electric vehicles to give low carbon and lower cost access to vehicles.  

Benefits / Impact

Performance Indicator (PI) Numbers :

  • 1 Feasibility Study/Business Plan for Low carbon transport  
  • 300 stakeholders as Scheme Members 
  • 1000 people made aware of low carbon transport through publicity, social media and events 
  • 1 New Network for Low carbon transport  
  • 1 New Pilot Activity undertaken in establishing car clubs and community enterprise 
  • 50 businesses benefiting in region 

Added value  

This project will help to decrease the costs to community transport schemes and car clubs through the use of Electric Vehicles. It could also bring increased membership and greater sustainability to shared transport solutions, in a rural and sparsely populated county. Bus services are being reduced in North Powys in response to a decrease in travel on public transport.
An increase in trade opportunities will be possible at charge points through increased footfall at host sites and the project will also catalyse installation of charge points across Powys; creating the essential infrastructure for driving between North and South Wales for Electric Vehicle drivers.

Project – further details 

This project has ended for ourselves and has resulted in the formation and on-going expansion of Welcome to TripTo – Mid-Wales Electric Car Clubs. We wish them all the best in their endeavours.

Working in partnership

We would like people/agencies to step forward to collaborate and co-produce this new low-carbon transport scheme for mid Wales, which we hope will nurture other community initiatives in the area that have sprung up in response to CV-19. 

What’s happened so far 

Since last summer Open Newtown has recruited staff to deliver the Arwain funded project and community consultation began in January with an enthusiastic response for our shared EV transport platform in North Powys. 

An initial Advisory Group met in January, but a later meeting in March was postponed due to COVID-19.  In the intervening time period Open Newtown has: 

  • secured an extra tranche of funding from Arwain towards EV chargers (EVCP) and installation costs 
  • worked to secure agreement from landowners towards hosting chargers, created an option agreement and procured a draft lease for car club/charging sites from a legal team 
  • received mentoring from European EV car-share model LochemEnergie/”E-trip” 
  • created a financial model to predict income streams from EVCP/EV hire taking into consideration your comments and suggestions 
  • lodged a collaborative bid with the Community Transport Association to Welsh Government 
  • We have also created a 6-part webinar series to re-engage our Advisory Group. The webinar series will release the need for anyone to travel to take part in scrutinising these models and will feature keynote speakers to help us develop the enterprise. 

Costs & Funding 

Initial investment of £184,000 from Arwain RDP (Rural Development Plan for Wales) with further potential through partnership work. 

Addressing concerns  

Local Town Councils are approaching us for advice on developing shared transport as local bus services are impacted by current travel restrictions. We welcome any enquires and can provide mentoring under the Renew Wales climate-action programme.    

 Alignment to National, County and local strategy 

The Arwain Low Carbon Transport Scheme supports the following strategies: 

  • Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales (Welsh Government, 2019) 
  • Decarbonising Transport: Setting the Challenge (The Department for Transport, 2020) 
  • Mid Wales Growth Deal – Energy (Low Carbon, Hydrogen & Circular Economy) Strand 

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