Call For More Public Electric Car Charging Points

An interactive map showing electric car charging points shows just a few locations in Houghton Regis and Dunstable. Local campaigner, Alan Winter, thinks there should be more.

"It appears that Houghton Regis and Dunstable may have just 6 public charging points. Councils need to wake up, grab the grant opportunity now. Many drivers in Houghton Regis are hampered from changing over to electric cars because they have no access to a charging point. Some are lucky enough to have a garage, but very few of these on our estates have an electric supply, the best they could hope for is a long lead from the house trailing across the lawns and footpaths and being a hazard to pedestrians in the process."

"The Government currently offers the Electric Vehicle Homecharge scheme (EVHS), for residents to receive a grant towards the installation of domestic charge points at their homes. But to be eligible they must have dedicated off-street parking in the form of a garage or driveway. Many of the streets in Tithe Farm, or Dunstable's town centre areas, for example, do not have off-street parking. These people need on-street charging places."

According to the interactive live map, at locations for charging points in the area are:
1. Morrisons - status when checked online 26 May 2016 - not in operation.

2. Warwick House, Houghton Hall Park Business Park, Porz Avenue -
3. Incuba Centre, 1 Brewers Hill Road, Dunstable
4. Watling House, High Street North, Dunstable
5. Grove Park, Car Park.

6. 2 units at Priory View Residential Apartments, 121 Church St, Dunstable.

Mr Winter currently runs a diesel car but would like to go electric. He said, "By 2050, almost
every car and van in the UK should be a zero emission vehicle according to current government targets. Our Councils should be taking the initiatives and looking for places to install public charging points."

"When you think about it, there are two Houghton Regis Town Council bus shelters in Park Road North, each with lay-bys and currently hardly a bus stops there. Perhaps there is one location the Town Council could consider for a public charging point? There are lots of other places around the estates where they could go. I'm sure other people could have ideas about where they could be located. We simply need more public charging places."

The government is currently providing funding for councils to encourage electric vehicle take up through the Go Ultra Low Cities campaign. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles provides significant subsidies to workplaces, homeowners and councils that are prepared to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure with up to 75 percent of the capital costs funded through various schemes.

The On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) provides grant funding for local authorities towards the cost of installing on-street residential charge points for plug-in electric vehicles.

The Energy Savings Trust makes information available online about electric vehicles and charging.