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Strategy will support electric vehicle charging network

Residents will soon be able to have their say on plans to support an integrated electric vehicle charging network for St Helens Borough.

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Article date: 25th May 2023

St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet has approved plans to hold a consultation on its draft Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy that outlines how the borough can prepare for the transition to electric vehicles, though promoting and supporting comprehensive, accessible, and efficient charging infrastructure.

The Government has set out a vision that all new cars and vans sold by 2030 should be zero emission and 2035 for hybrids, bringing this forward from 2040. To meet the growing need for charging and so that no one is disadvantaged by the changes, the council will be looking to work with partners to facilitate the delivery of a diverse range of infrastructure requirements, from overnight charging near homes to ultra-fast charging stations on busy routes. 

Councillor Andy Bowden, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Climate Change, said: "When we, as a council, declared a climate emergency in 2019, we made clear our intent to lead the challenge to this issue and our ambition to be net zero by 2040. We know that vehicle transmissions have a huge impact on our borough's air quality, which in turn can cause chronic lung and heart conditions and affect those with conditions like asthma. By accelerating the switch away from fossil fuelled vehicles we have an exciting opportunity to drive improvements in air quality. 

"This draft strategy seeks to tackle some of the current barriers that are slowing down the transition to electric vehicle usage. It will also seek to break down inequalities by providing access for all to on-street charging facilities so that electric car ownership isn't restricted to people who benefit from off-street parking options. We have also made a commitment to continue making changes to zero emission vehicles for our own council fleet and we have a focus on promoting more active travel opportunities like walking and cycling with our infrastructure improvements across the borough." 

The consultation will run for six weeks and is due to open on June 12. There will be more information online including a consultation summary report setting out the core policies contained in the strategy and survey on the council's website, social media as well as libraries when the consultation starts. 

Findings from the public consultation will help to shape the final draft of the strategy, which will be presented to Cabinet later in the year.