Concerns over electric car charging points

Sunday, 14 April 2024 19:16

By Gurdip Thandi, Local Democracy Reporter

Council bosses fear people won’t want to see electric charging points outside their houses as the authority looks to cope with an expected rise in demand.

Figures show Walsall needs hundreds of extra charging points in the borough by 2030 and an EV Chargepoint Strategy sets out an action plan including seeking funding and assessing suitable locations.

But, at a meeting of the authority’s economy and environment overview and scrutiny committee, members said they believed residents would not want them and they could even spark ‘turf wars’.

The strategy calls for a commitment to introducing 250 standard on-street sockets and 10 rapids by 2026 and 600 standard and 25 rapids by 2030.

A consultation is taking place on the strategy and it is anticipated it will be adopted in summer 2024.

Officers said the strategy was in line with the Government’s commitment to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2035 as well as the council’s ambition to be net zero by 2041.

Council leader Mike Bird said: “There is gaining momentum for electric service stations.

“But I have to say on street outside people’s houses is going to be a difficult nut to crack because the residents don’t want them.

“I think they’d rather see a phone mast than a charging point and we all know how controversial they can be.”

Walsall Labour group leader Matt Ward said: “I worry about on-street parking and some of the terraced housing.

“We know how protective people get over the little bit of parking space in front of their house. What I would hate is if we put these charging points out we would get turf wars.”

He added: “We need to be looking at this from a commercial aspect. Looking along the motorway, we’ve got several junctions where we can create these super charging stations so we can make some money out of it.”

And Councillor Hicken said: “I think it’s a good idea to include council car parks in this. All council assets are worthwhile doing.

“We also own quite a bit of land and wonder if we’ve ever dismissed it for car parking because we thought we’d only get four to six bays.

“But actually with the potential income off those, it might be worthwhile still doing.”


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