‘Tree-hugger’ frustrated as Westfield charge points blocked by petrol cars
PUBLISHED: 15:00 23 August 2016
An electric car owner has been left frustrated after being denied the use of chargers at a shopping centre by petrol and diesel vehicles.
Mikis Michaelides, 42, said he bought a Nissan Leaf eight months ago to “do something good for the environment” – but every time he parks in Westfield Stratford City, the chargers are blocked by old-fashioned fossil fuel consumers.
“There’s no sense in putting the chargers in these bays and then letting petrol cars park there,” Mr Michaelides said.
“What needs to happen is like with disabled bays where only they can park there or a fine is given.”
He added: “I’m thinking of starting a group for electric car owners and just parking outside petrol pumps everywhere we see them.”
Mr Michaelides, who is a composer of rap music for the BBC as well as a teacher in Waltham Forest, said he finds it “quite annoying” that his attempt to lower emissions is often undermined.
“I’m trying to help the environment but no-one gives a hoot,” he said, admitting he is “a bit of a tree-hugger”.
“If we don’t do something about it then we will never get rid of petrol cars.”
One of his biggest concerns is that one day he might become stuck without energy – and all because a charge point is blocked.
“My car has a range of about 80 miles,” he said.
“I’m usually good at planning my journeys so I don’t run out, but you could easily end up stranded.”
“You’re trying to be innovative and do something positive but other people have to care as well.”
Mr Michaelides feels especially aggrieved at paying £3 to park before being denied a charge point.
“Every single time you go up there, you see a petrol car parked in front of all the charges.”
A spokeswoman for Westfield Stratford City said: “Westfield Stratford City takes its environmental obligations extremely seriously, this is evidenced by the recent renewal of our IS14001 accreditation. We have over 30 electric charge bays across both Car Parks which offers complimentary charging to our customer.”
She added: “We acknowledge the challenge around monitoring charge points, however we have taken Mr Michaelides feedback on board and will review the signage for these bays and increase the current patrols we undertake to monitor legitimate usage. Our guest experience is important and we value this feedback.”
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