Electric car charging licences in Norfolk rubber-stamped

Electric vehicle charging points are to be installed in car parks in South Norfolk. Picture: Getty

Owners of electric cars in Norfolk will need to buy licences if they want to run cables across footpaths to charge their vehicles. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A scheme which will mean electric vehicle drivers in Norfolk have to pay £50 for licences to run cables over public footpaths to charge their cars is to go ahead.

Norfolk County Council provoked controversy last month when, as part of a strategy to encourage electric vehicle use, it proposed the licences.

But, at a meeting of the Conservative-controlled cabinet on Monday (October 4), councillors agreed to push ahead with the move, as part of the wider drive to get more electric vehicles in use in the county.

But councillors stressed they saw the need for such licences - for those electric vehicle owners who do not have driveways and need to charge their cars on roads near their homes - was a "temporary" solution until more public chargers become available.

Graham Plant, Councillor, at the grand reopening of the Venetian Waterways and Boating Lake, Great Y

Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council deputy leader. - Credit: Archant

Graham Plant, deputy leader of the council said: "This is a temporary measure and I can't see it being permanent.

"Even if the cables are in a rubber strip, if you are in a wheelchair or have a pushchair, it can be disconcerting."

And Mr Plant said not everybody is able to park outside their homes to run a cable to their cars.

He said: "I think there are other things which need to be looked at on this. The principle is sound, but the practicalities will be daunting."

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The electric vehicle strategy also outlines how efforts are being made to work with private companies to get publicly available charging points provided in residential streets.

Potential trial points have been identified on residential streets in Norwich, including Nelson, Mancroft, Mile Cross, Sewell, Thorpe Hamlet, Lakenham and Town Close.

Brian Watkins, Liberal Democrat county councillor for Eaton. Pic: Liberal Democrats.

Brian Watkins, leader of the Liberal Democrat group at Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Liberal Democrats

But Brian Watkins, leader of the Liberal Democrat group at County Hall, said: "I note that the report still contains recommendations to introduce a licence system, and I feel that this could be detrimental for people on lower incomes.

"To meet its environmental targets, the council needs to ensure that it involves as many people as possible, and not just those with money to contribute.

"Other Conservative councils such as Hampshire, are not charging."

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