Lack of E-car charging points in East Dunbartonshire frustrates residents

Issues with electric vehicle charging points in East Dunbartonshire were highlighted at a recent council meeting.

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Independent Councillor Duncan Cumming said that in a report which listed local locations due to have charging points, most were marked “no update”.

These are: Baljaffray, Barleybank car park in Kirkintilloch, Bearsden, Milngavie and Westerton Stations, Hillhead Community Centre, Kenmure Drive car park in Bishopbriggs, Kirkintilloch Lesiure Centre, Low Moss Industrial Estate, MacFarlane Road near Kessington Hall in Bearsden and WIlliam Patrick Library.

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The Bearsden councillor also raised complaints from residents in his constituency that two charging points had been out of operation for some time.

“I visited the car park in question and found that the two charging points were covered with black bags,” he said.

“People had expressed frustration that when the visited the site they did not know that it was not operational,” he added, asking for reassurance that in future people could visit such locations with confidence that, subject to possibly waiting in a queue, they would be able to charge their vehicles.

He said East Dunbartonshire was “not doing terribly well” with regard to promoting the use of electric vehicles in the short term.

Land planning officer Heather Holland said council’s officers shared frustration at how long it was taking to establish charging networks but work continued at her own department and also in legal services.

She recommended electric vehicle owners use the Chargeplace Scotland website for information on the availability of charging points.

“We are continuing to liaise with Chargeplace Scotland to ensure faults are reported and resolved as soon as possible,” she added.

She said that the “no update” tag on those locations listed in the report indicated that these projects had not been brought forward yet but were listed in the electric vehicle charging plan which had been approved before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: “That is certainly the list that officers are working to but as funding to date has been year on year we brought forward the ones that have delivery updates.”

Currently the council is prioritising the development of its charging network on the basis of providing the best possible geographical spread.

Councillor Alan Moir welcomed the report and called for a uniform approach in line with Glasgow City Region.

“I would not like East Dunbartonshire to be held back from progressing this initiative.”

Locations which did have updated entries were Allander Sports Centre, where eight charging bays are included in construction plans, additional charging points at Bearsden Town Centre and three rapid charging points which were installed last year at Mugdock Road Car Park but are not yet operational due to ongoing legal discussions.

Although it is free to use electric vehicle charging points locally, this is not considered to be sustainable as demand grows, so work is underway to establish a tariff system, in line with 18 other local authorities .