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ELECTRIC CARS: Council to investigate installing more charging points

ELECTRIC CARS: Council to investigate installing more charging points

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Plans to install more on-street charging points for electric vehicles across the county will be investigated by the council.

Worcestershire County Council has agreed to explore the idea of investing in more charging facilities on the county’s roads to allow more people to make the switch from petrol to electric.

Worcester currently has 20 public electric vehicle charging points to serve its population which is below the UK average of around 30 per 100,000 people.

Cllr Lynn Denham, who made a call on behalf of Labour and Lib Dem councillors, said the number of electric vehicles licensed in Worcester had trebled in the last two years but many were put off by the lack of charging facilities – particularly those that did not own a garage or driveway or lived in a flat.

She said the council now had an “opportunity to take the lead on practical change” and look at encouraging more people to buy electric vehicles by providing more charging facilities.

“More electric vehicles on our roads means less carbon and better air quality,” she said. “At our last meeting we declared a climate emergency and that means we want to take action. Air pollution is a serious health risk.”

Cllr Alan Amos, cabinet member for highways, said the council “actively supported” the installation of electric vehicle charging points across the county, but on-street facilities came with several issues – especially in areas with a lack of off-street parking.

Cllr Amos said installing more charging points would cause endless chaos on the roads if not managed carefully and he did not want to “exasperate” problems on some of the county’s already heavily congested roads but nevertheless agreed to look into the council’s options.

However he added that he did not want to see the council hold a monopoly over charging facilities and hoped the private sector would meet the demand.

Cllr Jack Satterthwaite said the lack of charging points was also a problem in Malvern and the council needed to help support people use electric vehicles in whatever way possible.

“Electric cars on our roads more and more, up and down the country, and in Worcestershire, and they need to charge somewhere,” he told councillors during a meeting at County Hall on Thursday (September 9).

“Our residents are making the switch but so are visitors to the county, visitors with electric cars who will be put off visiting the county by the lack of electric charging points.”

Words: Christian Barnett, Local Democracy Reporter

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