Borders Councillors to explore electric charging points

Thursday September 10th 2020


Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Joseph Anderson

Galashiels councillors are exploring the possibility of raising money from electric car charging points.

Currently, the town has just three charging points at Stirling Street Car Park, although there are a further two charging points at Tweedbank Railway Station.

Now, councillors sitting on Gala’s common good fund sub-committee want officers to explore ways the town could profit from electric car charging points.

One possibility is to encourage Scottish Borders Council to install further stations, with the surplus profit being directed into the common good fund, similar to the council and fund’s arrangement over car parking charges.

Speaking at a meeting of the Galashiels common good fund sub-committee on Thursday September 10, councillor Harry Scott said:

“It all started again because of the poverty of our common good fund – we’re looking at way we can raise more money and had a couple of discussions a long time ago about the electric charging points.

“Electric cars are the future, there’s no doubt about it, and I think we could support any investment that is made, but I do think if we do get these electric charging points then we should be able to make some money from it.

“I don’t advocate any exorbitant charges but someone who has an electric car, plugs it in, gets the electricity for nothing – although I do understand they have to join some sort of club and there is payment – and none of it comes back to the council.

“If these things are coming then it’s worth exploring if we can get some modest income from the charging. People pay for the car parks, I don’t see why we shouldn’t make something from charging for the electricity if it’s Scottish Borders Council that’s supplying it, it doesn’t seem fair.

“If you compare the full charge for an electric car, it’s an average of between £17 and £20, to fill a car with diesel it’s about £60, it’s not a bad comparison.”

Councillor Euan Jardine added: “I’ve been thinking about this, and researching, and in London and Amsterdam they have lamp posts that have charging points.

“You can just pull up in the street and plug them in, and they get billed by the council automatically, so I don’t know if that’s the way to do it – if it’s a charging point in Gala, that is charged by the council, then perhaps a percentage could come back to the common good fund.

“That’s maybe an avenue to look at.”

Councillors agreed to ask council officers to explore options and to bring a report back to the committee.

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