Free parking could be offered to drivers who 'go electric' idea Royal Borough leader Andrew Johnson has announced.

Cllr Johnson revealed at the latest cabinet meeting that residents owning fully electric, battery operated vehicles could be made exempt from charges in council run 'pay and display' car parks.

The exemption would not apply to hybrid cars but is seen as a serious idea that could represent a major contribution to encouraging more climate friendly ways of travelling.

Cllr Johnson announced the idea while defending this year's budget plans against opposition members' claims that proposed cuts would damage services.

He said the planned budget would free up the authority to approach things from a fresh point of view.

He said: “If you are a resident within this Borough and you can demonstrate to us through proof of ownership that you own a fully electric car, then we will look at discounting to zero the amount you pay for pay and display parking.

“We are committed to delivering our obligations in climate change to incentivising behavioural shift in terms of transportation, but also, dare I say it, rewarding people who do the right thing.

“If you own a fully battery, electric vehicle, you will pay zero for pay and display across the Borough.”