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Council urged to speed up charging project

Saturday, 8 February 2020 09:27

By Daniel Clark, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Over the next two years, 25 points are set to be installed

Councillors have urged Devon County Council to get on with a project to install Electric Vehicle Charging Points in car parks across the county.

The Devon Low Carbon Energy and Transport Technology Innovator (DELETTI) project is being led by Devon County Council to install electric vehicle charging points and aims to accelerate the uptake of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles through providing additional and improved charging infrastructure.

Funding has been received by Devon County Council from the European Regional Development Fund for the project, and over the next two years, 25 electric vehicle charge points in car parks across Devon are set to be installed.

Devon is the fourth largest county in the UK but there is currently only 30 publicly accessible charge points.

South Hams District Council’s executive on Thursday unanimously agreed to sign up to the collaboration agreement with Devon County Council for the installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Points, but urge the county to get on with the program.

Cllr Keith Baldry, Executive Member for Environment, said: “This is a small step and perhaps it is not moving fast enough, but is the best we can do. We just need Devon to move forward quicker and if they can bring the program forward we will get them in quicker.”

Emma Widdicombe – Senior Specialist Parking & Public Conveniences, added that officers also wanted to speed up the rollout of electric charging points, but that due to the large infrastructure costs for the set-up, the funding through the Devon County Council scheme was the best option, and they were pressuring the council to have as many of the car parks include in the first phase of installation.

Phase 1 is set to see the charging points installed in Heaths Nursery car park, Totnes, Quay Car Park, Kingsbridge, Mayors Avenue Car Park, Dartmouth, Creek Car Park, Salcombe, the Park & Ride car park, Dartmouth and Glanvilles Mill car park, Ivybridge (through a Highways England Project), with Fore Street Car Park, Kingsbridge, Cattlemarket Car Park, Kingsbridge, Victoria Street Car Park, Totnes, Pavilions Car Park, Totnes and Poundwell Meadow Car Park, Modbury, as part of the Phase 2 rollout.

West Devon Borough Council’s Hub Committee had the previous week agreed to join the project, with charging points in phase one to be installed in the Bedford car park in Tavistock and Okehampton’s Mill Road car park, with potential to consider additional car parks in phase two which could be in car parks in Chagford, Hatherleigh, and the Market Street car park, Okehampton, and Abbey car park in Tavistock.

When details about the DELETTI project were first announced, Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “The government has committed to banning the sale of all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040, but long before that we want more people to start using electric vehicles.

“It’s been difficult to encourage more people to use electric cars until there are more charging points, and more charging points won’t be provided until there are more electric cars on the road.

“This partnership with the district councils helps break that cycle. Fewer petrol and diesel cars will lead to a reduction in emissions, cleaner air and an improved quality of life for residents.”

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, added: “It’s really important to us that we work towards climate change solutions.  The use of electric cars will certainly help this and infrastructure such as car charging points are crucial when encouraging people to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, added “South Hams see the use of electric vehicles as being an essential component of the future zero carbon transport solutions, it is hoped that this project will help to encourage to the uptake of electric vehicles in our area. This will help to meet the Council’s adopted clean air strategy and help us to meet our climate change declaration aspirations.”

Car parks in Exeter, Barnstaple, Sidmouth, Exmouth, Honiton, Seaton, South Molton, Ilfracombe, Dawlish, Teignmouth and Newton Abbot are also set to see the charging points, which will be powered by renewable energy, installed.

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