Harrogate's ambitious plan to lead country with "ultra low emissions" scheme to be scrutinised

Harrogate Borough Council's ambitious plan to lead the country when it comes to supporting electric-powered and low-emission vehicles will be in the spotlight at an overview and scrutiny committee hearing next week.

Committee councillors will analyse the proposed Ultra Low Emission Vehicle strategy at a meeting on Monday, March 4.

A network of charging points for electric vehicles across the district could soon be a reality.

A network of charging points for electric vehicles across the district could soon be a reality.

The policy outlines the council's scheme to increase infrastructure support for electric vehicles in the district as their use increases over the coming years, with a ten-point, five-year plan proposed to aid this.

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Among specific actions dictated in the ten-point plan is the establishment of a network of publicly available electric vehicle charging points across the district in council-owned locations such as public car parks and business parks.

The policy also proposes that council will explore transitioning from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric in their own fleet and for employee vehicle.

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The plan also includes encouraging private developers and large businesses such as supermarkets to provide charging points at their properties.

A report attached to the policy states that Harrogate district experience the fastest rate of growth in plug-in vehicle registrations in the first three quarters of 2018, with a total of 1073 in that period - more than other authority in North Yorkshire and York.

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According to government data, the number of plug-in vehicles in the district is constantly increasing, in common with the national trend.

A total of 389 new plug-in vehicles were registered in Harrogate in quarter three of 2018, up from 328 in the quarter four of 2017, 196 in the last quarter of 2016 and only 25 in the last quarter of 2013.

A summary of council's proposed five-year plan:

1. Establish a network of publically available electric vehicle charge points across Harrogate District.

2. Implement electric vehicle technology within HBC for the fleet and employees.

3. Bid into relevant third party funding opportunities to secure delivery of electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

4. Assess opportunities to encourage the uptake of electric powered public transport services.

5. Condition private developers and landowners to provide EV charging on future development sites.

6. Work with NYCC as Highway Authority on the provision of additional locations for public charge points.

7. Investigate opportunities with partners within the wider public sector estate to provide public and private charge points, for example NHS sites and council housing.

8. Examine opportunities to incentivise and promote the use of e bikes within the district.

9. Encourage third parties, particularly large supermarkets and large employers, to install charging points on their estate for use of staff and the public.

10. Raise awareness of the EV market so people can understand the options for and benefits of EV ownership such as reduced environmental impacts and improved air quality.

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporting Service