In summary the petition is asking for debate around the use of central parking spaces for EV charging spaces, they say that
The petition stated:
We, the undersigned, being the businesses, residents and visitors to Knaresborough, regret the timing, location and lack of engagement undertaken in the installation of ten EV charging points in our Town Centre short stay car park.
We therefore call upon North Yorkshire Council to enter into urgent dialogue to discuss a phased transition to full electric vehicle provision and safeguard our town centre businesses by maximising the availability of parking for all vehicle users until a greater need arises
Due to the petition having more than 500 signatures, a debate was scheduled amongst the councillors at this forum.
The petition presenter is afforded 5-minutes to speak and the councillors a total of 15-minutes to debate, with view to deciding how to respond.
The petition was raised by Kelly Teggin, but read out in her absence by a council officer.
Council have said that the EV charging points are part of the wider EV charging point strategy, that dates back to 2019 with Harrogate Borough Council. They also say that Chapel Street Car Park in Knaresborough was chosen for a number of reasons.
Council say that data indicated that the location would be highly utilised; mainly attributed to the high proportion of residents without access to off-street parking (almost 75% of the households in Knaresborough town centre rely on on-street parking) and the high number of residents living in rented accommodation, meaning they are unlikely to get permission, at this time, to install a home charger.
- There are 22 bays in Knaresborough (12 of which are waiting to be activated by Northern Powergrid), which are for EV charging only, account for less than three per cent of the more than 800 spaces available in the town
- Conyngham Hall carpark has 12 EVCP bays, NYC are experiencing issues with Northern Powergrid establishing a
connection to the EVCP The issue with Northern Powergrid has been escalated
Cllr Paul Haslam said that there needed to be greater understanding of the North Yorkshire EV charging point strategy, but agreed with the sentiment of the petition.
Cllr Michael Harrison said that there were elements in the petition were not achievable, such as an urgent park and ride.
Cllr Arnold Warneken said that we need to also engage with the council officers, and they were perhaps being too quick to criticise the implementation.
Cllr Matt Walker proposed that the committee except the petition in full.
A vote was held against the 9 points raised in the petition with 6 for, and 4 against, with 1 abstention.