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East Lothian Council to Install Vehicle Charging Points

Ross Kelly

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Plugged-in Household

Five areas across East Lothian will receive electric vehicle infrastructure boosts following a funding grant from the Department for Transport.

East Lothian Council has been awarded nearly £50,000 from the Department for Transport to install a number of electric vehicle charge-points across the region.

Residential areas spread across five towns and villages in East Lothian will receive the charging points, which the Council said will “improve access for everyone in the area”. Residents with suggestions for new charge points have also been advised to contact the Council.

East Lothian Council has already received funding from Transport Scotland this year. More than £500,000 was allocated to increase the number of electric vehicle chargepoints across the county.

Going Green

The funding has been granted by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) following recommendations by the public. Transport Scotland will also play a significant role in the rollout of the charging points.

Aberlady, Dunbar, Stenton, North Berwick and West Barns are all set to benefit from the new chargepoints as more Scots choose to convert to electric vehicles. OLEV grants are available to areas in which councils can demonstrate there is a demand for electric chargepoints for residents without access to driveways or private parking. The council’s application followed a number of requests from local residents that had no access.

Each chargepoint, the Council said, will help to improve access to the charging network within residential areas. Locals with access to private parking or driveways can apply for funding from the Energy Saving Trust Scotland to install their own chargepoints.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, Cabinet Member for the Environment at East Lothian Council, welcomed the funding announcement.

He said: “Electric vehicles are more environmentally-friendly and economical than petrol or diesel cars. However the decision to invest in one can be difficult for residents without access to a private driveway to install a chargepoint.

“The OLEV scheme removes this barrier by making funding available to the local authority to meet this demand. The added advantage is that it widens access to chargepoints within residential areas, not just in town centre locations. These chargepoints will improve access for everyone in the area, not just the residents who made the initial approach. I’d encourage anyone with suggestions about locations for new points to get in touch.”

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Electric Lothian

Elsewhere in the Lothian region, the City of Edinburgh Council announced proposals for a city-wide network of fast-charge points in early October.

The ever-growing uptake of electric vehicles has been led to an increased demand for charging points throughout the capital. Edinburgh is home to nearly one-quarter of all licensed electric vehicles in Scotland. In 2011, there were only nine electric vehicles in the capital, compared with 489 in June 2017.

The majority of Edinburgh’s proposed charging points will be “fast chargers” that will enable on-street residential charging. Charging facilities for taxis and at park and ride sites will also be included as part of the initiative.

A total of 68 locations, which are capable of hosting multiple charging points, have been identified across the capital.

Ross Kelly

Staff Writer

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