Tue, 09 Apr 2019
THE installation of electric vehicle charging points (EVCPs) in congested Newbury streets has been criticised by residents who were not consulted over the £97,000 project.
Residents in Eastfields and Westfields received letters from West Berkshire Council last month stating that EVCPs would be installed in the area.
The council said it would have been “impractical” to consult on every charging point.
Resident Neil Sawyer contacted the Newbury Weekly News to say that parking in the already-congested area would worsen as a result.
He said: “No one in our street is able to park.
“All we have had is a letter to say that points will be put in somewhere in Eastfields and Westfields and that’s it. People will be absolutely furious.”
Another resident, Steve Wind-Mozley, said the charging points would be in areas where parking is already hotly-contested.
He said: “If the objective is to encourage residents to adopt electric vehicle usage it will fail as, without dedicated bays, residents will not be able to guarantee that they will be able to charge their vehicles when required.”
Mr Wind-Mozley said it was unclear how the council would benefit and whether the scheme met the needs of residents, who said they had not been consulted on the matter.
The project has been funded via a £72,590 government grant and £25,000 from the council.
This will pay for up to 36 EVCPs.
Council spokeswoman Joanne Bassett said that streets where houses predominantly do not have off-street parking had been chosen in a bid to make plug-in electric vehicles more accessible to people without driveways.
“She said: We wrote to residents to inform them that the charge points would be installed in/near their streets.
“We are not introducing any parking restrictions, so did not need to do a statutory consultation.
“It would not have been practical to consult every individual resident about every single charge point.
“We encourage residents to give us their feedback now that the charge points are installed, but we want to hear about actual problems if there are any, rather than people’s fears of problems that may or may not materialise.”
The charging points will not have dedicated bays for electric car charging and the council said that the points would be for the benefit of residents.
Ms Bassett said: “We appreciate that parking is limited on many of the streets where we have/propose to install electric vehicle charge points.
“This project does not intend to address any pre-existing problems, but we are not intending to make any problems worse either.
“The charge points are being put in for the benefit of residents, and if used by residents will not create any additional demand for parking spaces.
“The chargers are not particularly fast and are best suited to being used overnight, so it would not be worthwhile for a non-resident to make a special trip.”