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Gloucestershire Business News

EXCLUSIVE: Stroud "left out" of EV plan

A program to instal new electric car charging points across Gloucestershire will roll out from next week, say Gloucestershire County Council (GCC) – but has landed to immediate criticism after an entire local authority zone was left out.

Shire Hall has revealed that, after a consultation with the public on where best to locate them, 26 locations will see work begin before September.

But with the whole of Stroud District Council (SDC) being airbrushed off the map, the leader of SDC's Liberal Democrats has slammed the first stage as a waste of the council's "hard work" to achieve progress in Stroud, Dursley and Wotton-under-Edge.

GCC has appointed Connected Kerb on the project to install and run the new network boost and work on the first 26 new locations will will be followed by more as further outlet locations are identified.

The locations for phase one are:

● Cheltenham: George Readings Way, opposite Cypress Court, Malvern Road, Pennine Road, Montpellier Street, Ewlyn Road, St Luke's Road, Overton Park Road and Sherborne Street.

● Gloucester: Worcester Street, Sybil Road, Stroud Road, Massey Road and Churchill Road.

● Cotswold District: Gloucester Street, Cirencester (near Texaco), Gloucester Street, Cirencester (near the town centre), Watermoor Road in Cirencester and Fairford High Street.

● Forest of Dean: Eastern Avenue, Mitcheldean, Church Street, Newent, Templeway West, Lydney, Station Street in Cinderford.

● Tewkesbury: High Street and Despenser Road, Tobyfield Road, Bishops Cleeve and Abbey Terrace, Winchcombe.

A spokesman said: "We have listened to public feedback and made changes to the proposals in light of the responses.

"For example, to ensure value for money we are installing two twin chargepoints in many locations, so they can charge four EVs [at one time]."

In some areas where need for chargers has been acknowledged though, the council says it will install two points initially "before there is demand to fill four bays."

But some locations are also reported to have been dropped from the scheme "in reaction to public feedback," and the council says that in these areas, such as Stroud, it is "actively looking at alternative sites".

Stroud District's omission was met with dismay by Ken Tucker, leader of SDC's Liberal Democrats.

Cllr Tucker told Punchline: "The decision for Stroud not to be in is baffling. We are hugely disappointed. We have done a lot of work with Stroud Railway Station and in Wotton-under-Edge. So many people want to do the right thing and get on with it, but without GCC as a sponsor they then need to provide their own resources.

"We are disappointed, particularly after the work for Stroud Station, where EV points were part of the bid for levelling up, but that was ruled out by a political decision."

Cllr Tucker said he remained hopeful that GCC would progress installations at their own car parks in the SDC area, but that today's omission of Wotton-under-Edge and a bid for EV charging at the town's Symn Lane car park, currently nearing completion, left a question mark over the town's much-needed opportunity.

Wotton-under-Edge currently has no public charging points.

Funding for this scheme, which aims to boost GCC's strategy to tackle the climate emergency, is shared with the Department for Transport's On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS).

It aims to mitigate such factors as a third of the county's residential properties having no off-street parking provision, making home charging impractical.

The council added: "These new chargepoints will be installed in public areas, giving residents greater confidence they will be able to charge their EV either near their home or when they go out and about in the county."

● About a third of CO2 emissions in Gloucestershire are traffic-generated, with half of this coming from private vehicle use (55%). New petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned from sale in 2030.

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