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Quarter of councils have no plan to expand charging points

Local authorities in England and Wales are stalling on expanding local charging networks, with around a quarter saying they’re not adding new charging points.

Charging car

The research found 107 local authorities in England and Wales said they had no plans to increase the number of charging points

That’s according to Freedom of Information requests submitted to councils with the results published by the Guardian.

A total of 301 councils responded to the FoI requests, of which 107 said they had no plans to increase the number of charging points, 122 had a plan in place to increase the number, and 62 said they were taking steps to increase the number but without a formal plan. Eight said they had no appropriate locations for installing new charging points. Around 60 councils didn’t respond.

Speaking to the Guardian, Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat former energy and climate change secretary, blamed the lack of investment on funding cuts for councils.

“Unless there is urgent action to tackle our out-of-control transport emissions, our environment and the health of future generations will suffer,” he said. “People deserve better. There is no doubt these councils are being hamstrung by Conservative government cuts, crippling their ability to tackle climate change. These cuts must be reversed.”

In response, Davey has written to the business secretary, Greg Clark, demanding work between local authorities and the Department for Transport to establish a “collective approach” to providing an expanded network of charging points.

However, the comments come a year after research found that local authorities were not taking advantage of the Government’s £4.5m funding pot for EV charge points despite funds to provide thousands of extra points having been available since 2016. As of January 2018, only five local authorities had taken advantage of the funding.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.