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Westminster and ubitricity install new electricity bollards for traders at Tachbrook Market

Repurposed bollards with electricity points will help bring stallholders and customers back to Tachbrook Street Market in London.

Published: 11 May 2021

Westminster City Council and ubitricity, the UK’s largest on-street electric vehicle (EV) charging technology provider, have joined forces to become the first in the UK to repurpose EV charge point technology into a power supply exclusively for market stallholders at Tachbrook Street Market in Pimlico, London.

As part of the extensive renovation of Tachbrook Street Market consistent power will be provided to stallholders in a safe, more accessible and efficient way. WSP, one of the world's leading engineering and infrastructure consulting firms, designed the electrical system and analysed the power demand of the traders.

ubitricity, part of the Shell Group, was appointed as an exclusive infrastructure supplier and tasked with reconfiguring the bollard infrastructure at the market into waterproof outdoor electricity points. The bollards are simpler to operate, with stallholders accessing the electric supply using a bespoke cable and paying for the electricity used to operate their market stalls through a QR code providing a much fairer and simple way to make payments. The 24 charge points each deliver 3.6 kW renewable energy at 16 amp / 230 Volts – enough power, for example to power a rice cooker, large display warmer or two panini toasters.

The recent renovation of the market is part of the council’s ‘City for All’ vision for Westminster. The council is committed to improving the overall shopping experience for customers and traders at markets across the city. The new bollards at Tachbrook Street produce less air and noise pollution than the previous portable generators, and the improved layout of the market has created more space for shoppers. This has resulted in a greatly improved customer experience, making Tachbrook Street Market a cleaner, greener, and more attractive destination for shoppers and traders.

Councillor Matthew Green, Cabinet Member for Business, Licensing and Planning, said:

Westminster is committed to investing in new technology to improve services for residents, businesses, and visitors. In particular, the Council is committed to supporting its market traders. As part of the extensive renovations to Tachbrook Street market, we wanted to supply traders with a reliable and safe electricity supply. The new system is fairer and easier for traders, as they only pay for the electricity they use and for some that could mean that they pay less than £1 per hour. Additionally, the green energy supplied by these bollards will contribute to Westminster achieving its zero carbon goals.

Dan Bentham Managing Director UK of ubitricity added:

This is an exciting and progressive development of utilising street infrastructure. Previously our compact and discreet technology was only used to recharge electric cars, this now shows the versatility and scalability of this infrastructure. By eliminating generators and using renewable energies it provides further options for businesses and councils to consider as the UK moves forward with its target to reach net zero target.

Louise Lawrence, Head of Intelligent Transport at WSP is pleased with the outcome:

We worked closely with Westminster City Council and ubitricity from the beginning and tested the solution before to make sure the power supply is sufficient and ready to be deployed at scale. It’s working wonderfully.