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BBC wrong on electric vehicle plug in points, Tower Hamlets Council says

PUBLISHED: 10:00 11 April 2019

A BBC study has revealed the best and worst places for electric car charging across the UK. Picture: ANDREW MATTHEWS/PA IMAGES

A BBC study has revealed the best and worst places for electric car charging across the UK. Picture: ANDREW MATTHEWS/PA IMAGES

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The council has challenged a BBC study showing there are 32 public plug in places for electric cars in Tower Hamlets.

The Beeb’s analysis showed the rate of charging places for the 326 more eco-friendly, licensed vehicles in the borough would be 98.2 for every thousand with an average distance of 0.31km or about one fifth of a mile between locations.

The rate is within the top 20 per cent of the UK’s local authority areas, the BBC report notes.

But Tower Hamlets Council said the figures are wrong with 44 charging points along with more from TfL and others installed by social housing landlords.

John Biggs, mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “The health and wellbeing of our residents and our work to tackle air pollution are absolute priorities.

“In 2017 we allocated a budget to deliver a network of electric charging points that would meet the needs of our communities and support them to make environmentally friendly transport choices.”

He added the council’s application to government for 120 more charging points on top of those already funded had not yet been agreed.

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“We would welcome a decision that would add to our electric charging point offer,” he said.

A spokeswoman added the council was ahead of its target to set up 100 charging points this financial year.

In 2017 Cabinet members agreed funding for at least 150 points – which could charge 3,300 electric vehicles – to be installed by 2025.

On top of the mayor’s air quality fund, which supports air pollution busting projects, the council funds a zero emissions network aimed at helping businesses adopt more sustainable practices, the spokeswoman added.

The BBC sourced its data from the Open Charge Map – a database of charging stations – comparing it with Deparment for Transport (DfT) and DVLA records.

The borough’s licensed electric car take up is lower than Redbridge (426) but more than Barking and Dagenham (159) and Newham (204), the BBC numbers show.

Results of the national study led to criticism not every council is preparing for a rise in electric or hybrid vehicle use.

Bridget Fox, from the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Moving to electric vehicles is vital to tackling air pollution, but for many the lack of easy access to charging is a major barrier to switching.”

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