'Pathetic' number of electric vehicle charging points revealed

David Beavan on the pier in Southwold.

East Suffolk Councillor David Beavan labelled the number of electric vehicle charging points as 'pathetic'. - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Bungay has one of just four electric vehicle charging points in east Suffolk, and the only in Waveney, as a councillor labels the progress as "pathetic."

East Suffolk Council’s environmental sustainability officer Daniel Wareing informed a meeting of the scrutiny committee last week. 

One of the chargers is in the Waveney Valley Leisure Centre, in Bungay, while two are in the car park of Deben Leisure Centre in Woodbridge and another is at a public car park in Felixstowe.  

Liberal Democrat councillor David Beavan, who is also leader of East Suffolk’s Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent group of councillors, said: “I think it is pathetic. 

“It doesn’t cost any money to install chargers, and you make money from them.” 

Councillor Beavan suggested recommending a target of installing 50 further chargers over the next year to the council, but it was decided that officers would instead be asked to return to the committee with meaningful information about the feasibility, costings and practicalities of increasing the number of charging points.  

Councillor Louise Gooch agreed that a target needed to be introduced, while councillor Keith Robinson said: “As a council, we do not supply petrol stations and we do not supply diesel stations.  

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“What we could do is encourage the commercial sector, and make it easier for those in this sector to put in electric vehicle charging points.” 

Officer Wareing pointed to the Plug In Suffolk project, which promotes the offer of subsidised installation of chargers to businesses and other bodies, and councillor James Mallinder explained that the council had just commissioned a study into on-street chargers.  

He said: “We do have two further charging points at our two depots, which are not public but from which public vehicles are run from.” 

According to statistics from the Department for Transport, as of the start of January 2022 there were 28,375 public electric vehicle charging devices available in the UK, an increase of 9pc from October 2021. 

The region with the highest number of chargers per 100,000 people was London, with 102 per 100,000.

The South East had 39 per 100,000 – higher than all regions except for London and Scotland.