Conor McGinn, MP for St Helens North, has called on Ministers to invest in St Helens to end the damaging electric vehicle postcode lottery affecting it, and promote cleaner, greener transport across the borough and North West.
The call comes after research by Mr McGinn of Department for Transport (DfT) figures, published in January, shows that some London boroughs possess up to 35 times the number of publicly available electric vehicle charging points per head compared to St Helens.
As of January, St Helens held 22 publicly available electric vehicle charging devices across all speeds – equating to just 12 per 100,000 population. It means the borough has fewer of such devices, per capita, than all of the 14 inner-city London boroughs – some by considerable margin.
The Labour MP said that firmer action was needed from Government to address these disparities, a move which would be a boon to local people’s health, wellbeing, and which could push St Helens forward as it works to meet its ambitious climate targets.
Labour-led St Helens Council declared a climate emergency in July 2019 and is committed to achieving net zero by 2040 – ten years earlier than the UK Government.
In March 2021, the council created a dedicated Climate Change Commission whose work brings together local leaders and groups to shape policy and share best practice.
Commenting, Conor McGinn MP said:
“While some London boroughs have literally thousands of electric vehicle charging points, we in St Helens only have a handful.
“Promoting sustainable transport, such as electric vehicles, as well as encouraging walking and cycling, is so vital for our health, wellbeing and environment, and its importance is only growing as we rightly do more to protect our planet and meet our ambitious climate goals locally.
“Ministers must act now to end this postcode lottery for electric vehicles and properly invest in the local infrastructure to make this possible, so everyone across St Helens and the North can get on and go green both easily and cheaply”.
Cllr Mancyia Uddin, St Helens Council’s Climate Change Champion, said:
“Whilst advocating for active travel to be people’s go-to travel method for journeys, we know that the use of electric vehicles will increase as the technology develops and as petrol and diesel vehicles are phased out.
“We can see from the stats that London will be well prepared and equipped for the wider availability of electric vehicles and yet again, the North will be lagging behind.
“On the route to making public transport more accessible and calling for more investment, we need the same for electric vehicle infrastructure, so that everyone can enjoy the wide range of cleaner, greener travel that will be available.”
Read the full story in the Liverpool ECHO here.