Plans for up to 160 electric vehicle charging points adopted by Harrogate council

Harrogate council cabinet members have voted in favour of adopting the ultra low vehicle emissions plan.
Harrogate council cabinet members have voted in favour of adopting the ultra low vehicle emissions plan.

Harrogate councillors have voted in favour of an ambitious plan to drastically cut vehicle emissions in the district, which includes the installation of up to 160 electric vehicle charging points over the next five years.

The ultra-low emission vehicle strategy was officially adopted at a cabinet meeting in March, with councillors voting unanimously for the policy.

A council sketch of where the new electric charging points could be around the district.Brackets with two numbers indicate a minimum and maximum figure.

A council sketch of where the new electric charging points could be around the district.Brackets with two numbers indicate a minimum and maximum figure.

Coun Stan Lumley said he was "very pleased to support this report" given the growing popularity of electric vehicle use.

"Clearly moving forward, transportation will change dramatically over the next 10 years...I think that hybrid vehicles will be the first step towards going electric, those sales are increasing dramatically," he said.

Council leader Richard Cooper said "a good strategy looks inside and outside", referencing the report's action points which includes implementing electric vehicle technology within the council's own fleet.

He also asked council officers to "consider going a little bit further" and look at implementing clean air zones for public transport in current Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs).

The move could see legislation implemented to make public transport operators cut down on pollution from their vehicles in a move Coun Cooper said showed the council was "serious about carbon emissions".

A summary of council's proposed five-year plan:

1. Establish a network of publicly available electric vehicle charge points across Harrogate District.

2. Implement electric vehicle technology within HBC for the fleet and employees.

3. Bid into relevant third party funding opportunities to secure delivery of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

4. Assess opportunities to encourage the uptake of electric powered public transport services.

5. Condition private developers and landowners to provide EV charging on future development sites.

6. Work with NYCC as Highway Authority on the provision of additional locations for public charge points.

7. Investigate opportunities with partners within the wider public sector estate to provide public and private charge points, for example NHS sites and council housing.

8. Examine opportunities to incentivise and promote the use of e bikes within the district.

9. Encourage third parties, particularly large supermarkets and large employers, to install charging points on their estate for use of staff and the public.

10. Raise awareness of the EV market so people can understand the options for and benefits of EV ownership such as reduced environmental impacts and improved air quality.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter