It’s time to ‘jump start’ electric vehicle charging points

Oldham Liberal Democrats are concerned that Oldham is failing to keep up with the increasing demand for electric vehicle charging points as Britain makes the radical move to go green from 2030.

In January 2021, the Department of Transport reported 31 public charging points in Oldham, or 13 for every 100,000 people, less than half the UK average of 31; and this was four less than in October 2019. The energy company Centrica also identified Oldham as one of 126 local councils with no plans to install on-street electric vehicle chargers.

Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes MBE, is dismayed that Oldham is falling behind, especially as it is a Council and Borough committed to be carbon-neutral within ten years.

Commenting, Councillor Sykes MBE said: “For example, at a time when politicians talk about the need to promote the use of green public transport where possible, and green private transport where it is not, there is a disincentive if you are a commuter to do so. In my own Shaw Ward, we have no electric vehicle charging points at the Shaw and Crompton Metrolink ‘Park and Ride’ despite this being the busiest station on the Rochdale – Oldham line. Nor are there any at the Derker ‘Park and Ride’.

Howard Sykes

“If you want to commute by tram to Manchester, and have an electric vehicle, then you must travel all the way to Hollinwood to access a charging point before you can travel into work. All Metrolink ‘Park and Ride’ stations should have EV charging points installed as a priority. Anything else is just plain daft!”

Councillor Sykes also feels we need some forward thinking. “At a time when the Greater Manchester Mayor and Labour Leaders are proposing building thousands of new homes across the conurbation, I have yet to hear any talk about the provision of charging points for the many electric vehicles that will occupy them nor about the provision of on-street charging points.

“We need to ensure that there are planning requirements to make this provision a given for new developments and to look at how we can make more charging points available in our town centres, workplaces, hospitals and retail and leisure parks.”

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