Greener county promised with 1,000 street EV chargers
By Simon Hacker | 14th April 2023
Gloucestershire will get 1,000 electric vehicle charging points over the next three years.
The first 30 areas for installation have been revealed, including points in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud – but Punchline has been told that some areas of the map look set to remain a "charging desert".
The street-side points will be part of a wider campaign to tackle climate change in the county, says the Gloucestershire County Council. Currently, around one third of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the county come from transport, with private vehicle use accounting for more than half of this (55 per cent).
Cllr David Gray, cabinet member for environment and planning, said: "It's great news that our plans to install 1,000 charging points are progressing. Electric vehicles cut emissions, improve air quality and reduce noise pollution, so these points will help create a greener Gloucestershire and provide accessible facilities for residents who do not have off-street parking."
With the government ban on new petrol and diesel vehicle sales from 2030, Shire Hall says it will roll out its network "well ahead of this date to give residents the practical option of choosing to go electric as early as possible".
EV infrastructure provider Connected Kerb, which boasts working relationships with several local authorities in the UK, has been appointed for the work, while residents are being invited to register their interests and share views about the location of charge points.
Specific plans include charging points in Cheltenham, with 40 chargers on Shurdington Road, Malvern Road and Sherborne Street; in Gloucester, with 20 on Worcester Street, Stroud Road and Churchill Road; in Stroud, which gets 16 on Stratford Road and in Berkeley, where three chargers are earmarked for provision.
The Forest of Dean will meanwhile see 16 chargers on Station Street in Cinderford and Church Street in Newent; Tewkesbury will receive 16 on the High Street and Abbey Terrace; Winchcombe will get allocation on Abbey Terrace and Cirencester's Gloucester Street and Fairford's High Street receive eight chargers apiece.
The promise of 1,000 new charge points has, however, been met with some cynicism by EV users in the county. Pointing out a 'desert' of charge opportunities on the southern end of Gloucestershire, wholesale supplied area sales manager Gary Littlefield, who lives in Berkeley, said the provision of public charging in the county is a 'joke'.
Mr Littlefield said: "I drive 25,000 to 30,000 miles a year and here around Berkeley and Wotton-under-Edge, which was promised a bank of chargers years ago in a car park that has yet to be built, there is literally nowhere. It's a desert. I run a hybrid and I couldn't jump to fully electric because I'd be terrified of missing appointments.
"The council needs to tell us exactly when it will meet targets and also, the ongoing concern among EV drivers is that public charging will be blighted by non-EV drivers who will take up any street parking slot," he added.
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