Steve Beasant

Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Great Grimsby and Councillor for the East Marsh Learn more

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Revealed: 100s of local councils have no plans to increase EV charging points

by Steve Beasant on 16 March, 2019

The Liberal Democrat conference in York will today [16/03/19] debate solutions to tackle growing transport emissions after revealing over 100 councils have no plans to increase the number of electric vehicle charging points.
 
Liberal Democrat Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse warned local councils have been “hamstrung by Conservative Government cuts” and said it was time Ministers took “urgent action”. 
 
Of the 301 local councils that responded to the Liberal Democrats Freedom of Information request, 107 do not have a plan to increase the number of charging points. 122 local councils confirmed they have a formal plan, but only an additional 62 have taken steps to increase the number of EV charging points without a formal plan.
 
Ahead of the May local elections, the Liberal Democrats at their Spring Conference will debate a series of measures to help councils. They include:  

  • Introduce new planning legislation ensuring that all new developments and large-scale regeneration schemes include electric car charging facilities.
  • Invest significantly in schemes to speed up the strategic roll-out of rapid charging points. Work with local authorities to expand them to popular in-town locations such as public car parks and supermarkets.
  • Invest in residential on-street charging, using the existing lamp post infrastructure wherever possible so as not to clutter the pavement. 

Liberal Democrat Transport Spokesperson Jenny Randerson said:

“Unless there is urgent action to tackle out of control transport emissions, our environment and the health of future generations will suffer. People deserve better, and Liberal Democrats demand better.
 
“Given electric and low emissions vehicles are key to tackling climate change, it is deeply concerning that almost one hundred local authorities across the country have no plans to increase the number of charging points.”
 

Liberal Democrat Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse added:
 
“There is no doubt these councils are being hamstrung by Conservative Government cuts, crippling their ability to tackle this climate change emergency. For the benefit of current and future generations, these cuts must be reversed.

“Ministers must take urgent action. Unless we transition away from petrol and diesel cars the price we have to pay in the future is far higher than the price of electric charging points.”

Notes:
 
Please see a note below on the Liberal Democrat freedom of information request.
 
301 councils responded FOI. Please see a breakdown attached. They confirmed: 

  • 107 councils do not have a plan to increase the number of charging points
  • 62 have taken steps to increase the number of EV charging points
  • 122 have a formal plan in place to increase the number of charging points
  • 8 have no appropriate locations for charging points to be installed

A full breakdown can be found here

Please see the text for motion ‘Cleaning Up the Air We Breathe: How to Tackle Road Pollution’ below.
 
Conference notes with concern:

  1. The dangerous rise in the emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), particulates, and ozone (O3).
  2. The impact of these emissions cause 40,000 early deaths each year.
  3. That emissions have serious impacts of children’s health particularly impairing lung development.
  4. That the UK has broken the legal limits, set by the EU, for NO2 every year since 2010.
  5. That road transport is responsible for 80% of roadside NO2 emissions.
  6. That the EU is currently responsible for ensuring the government complies with air quality legislation, and that this oversight would be lost after Brexit.

Conference believes that:

  1. People have the right to live in an area with unpolluted air.
  2. All laws currently governing air quality currently afforded under EU regulations must be upheld in UK law.
  3. The government must be fully accountable for missing any air quality targets and government policy must support cleaning up the air we breathe.

Conference calls on the Government to: 

  1. Introduce a ban on the sale of new non-hybrid diesel and petrol cars and small vans within the next decade.
  2. Replace their own current vehicle fleet with electric, hybrid or other ultra-low emission vehicles by 2022.
  3. Pass a Clean Air Act, based on World Health Organisation guidelines, enforced by a new Air Quality Agency, enshrining the legal right to unpolluted air wherever people live.
  4. Undertake air pollution testing more widely and frequently, with warning signs displayed in pollution hotspots and in sensitive areas such as near schools.
  5. Reform Vehicle Excise Duty so that it is graduated to reflect levels of both NO2 and CO2 emissions in every year.
  6. Introduce a ban on idling in vehicles, near schools, hospitals, parks and care homes, with fines for those who ignore the ban.
  7. Reverse the cuts to electric vehicle subsidies and extend them by exploring VAT reductions for electric vehicles.
  8. Use its new powers to standardise plug sockets for electric vehicles.
  9. Invest in research into alternative technologies, such as hydrogen fuel cells, as well as into battery technology.
  10. Provide the funding to retrofit or replace all diesel buses operating in urban areas within five years.
  11. Introduce new planning legislation ensuring that all new developments and large-scale regeneration schemes include electric car charging facilities.
  12. Invest significantly in schemes to speed up the strategic roll-out of rapid charging points. Work with local authorities to expand them to popular in-town locations such as public car parks and supermarkets.
  13. Invest in residential on-street charging, using the existing lamp post infrastructure wherever possible so as not to clutter the pavement.
  14. Provide greater and more ambitious support for all forms of public transport and for active travel initiatives involving walking and cycling. 

Conference reaffirms pledges in the Liberal Democrat 2017 manifesto to: 

  1. Extend ultra-low-emission zones to 10 more towns and cities.
  2. Require all private hire vehicles licensed to operate in urban areas should be electric, hybrid, or capable of running on other ultra-low emission technology, within five years.
  3. Reform vehicle taxation to encourage sales of electric and low emission vehicles and develop electric vehicle infrastructure including universal charging points.
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