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Funding cuts blamed as 107 councils say they have no plans to expand on numbers for electric vehicle charging points.

14 Mar 2019

 

It is believed that around 25% of all local authorities in England and Wales have ceased expansion of their charging networks for electric vehicles.

 

A Guardian report has revealed that 107 local councils have stated that they have no plans to increase the number of charging points available. 

This has now raised fears from both politicians and campaigners that this could create problems and slow-down the uptake of electric vehicles in the UK

 

Electric vehicles are now an integral part of government plans to reduce noxious emissions in the UK, with Public Health England calling for a greater number of electric vehicles to replace petrol and diesel vehicles, only this week.

The figure reported by the Guardian jas come from freedom of information act request which was submitted by the Liberal
 

Former Liberal Democrat former energy and climate change secretary, Ed Davey, has blamed cuts to council budgets for the lack of investment in vehicular charging infrastructure.

Davey has contacted business secretary, Greg Clark, with a view to reversing the situation, and is asking for a summit which would include local authorities and the Department for Transport, to establish a “collective approach” to providing an expanded network of charging points.

301 councils responded to the Lib-Dems freedom of information act requests, of which 107 said they had no plan to increase the number of charging points, 122 had plans in to increase the number of points available, and 62 said they were taking steps to increase the number without having a plan to do so. Eight councils stated that they had no appropriate locations for installing new charging points, and around 60 councils failed to respond to the FoI request.

It is believed that cities such as Bolton, Swansea and Wolverhampton, have no plans to increase their charging network.

Judith Blake, the transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association stated that charging point expansion will be market driven, with numbers met according to any given areas needs.

She also stated that promoting cycling and bringing in low-emission zones were some of the steps that councils were taking, however the lack of long-term funding is a major problem. She called on central government to address the issues being faced by councils.

A Department for Transport spokesperson said: "Our vision is to have one of the best infrastructure networks in the world for electric vehicles, and we want charging points to be accessible, affordable and secure."  

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