ELECTRIC car owners in Basingstoke will now be able to charge their vehicles whilst they use the train, thanks to a £100,000 investment from South Western Railway.

18 new electric charging points have been introduced at the town’s railway station, and are free to use until the end of October.

Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, was “delighted” at the news, saying: “We all need to take responsibility for protecting and improving our air quality, and these new charging points can help play a part in encouraging more sustainable travel in Basingstoke.”

The new points at Basingstoke are part of a total of 60 across the wider region, at stations in Andover, Fleet, Farnborough, Haslemere and Wokingham.

SWR and SSE Enterprise Rail worked together on the project, installing the 13-amp trickle chargers which will re-charge the parked vehicles over the course of the day.

Users will still need to pay for parking, but the bays will be reserved for electric vehicles only.

Jenny Keen, Flagship Station Manager at Basingstoke, said: “We’re passionate about sustainability, and by investing in practical projects like station charging points and offering free charging, we can encourage more passengers to make environmentally friendly choices that could help improve local air quality.

“We aim to roll out more green initiatives, including reducing our energy usage and improving how we manage our waste, to ensure we become significantly greener by 2024.”

Basingstoke is one of the biggest stations in the region, with the Office of Rail and Road estimating that there were almost 5.8 million entries and exits in 2017-18 – making it the ninth busiest station in South East England.

It also had 1.8 million interchanges that year.

This news comes just a month after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that carbon dioxide emissions must peak by 2020 in order to keep global warming beneath 1.5°C from pre-industrial levels.