Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy & Transport & Rural Affairs Colin Smyth has urged the Scottish Government to go ‘further and a lot faster’ regarding growing Scotland’s public car charging points.

Speaking during a recent debate on the subject in the Scottish Parliament, Colin Smyth questioned Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson about the government’s targets for public charging points.

Colin Smyth said: “Michael Matheson says that today’s announcement will mean that, over the next few years, the size of Scotland’s existing network of public charging points, which he says is currently just over 2,000, will double. However, we need to go further and a lot faster than that.

“As we have heard, the Climate Change Committee has implied that a total of around 30,000 charging points will be needed in Scotland by 2030. Transport Scotland also quotes a ratio of one public charge point for every 10 electric vehicles as a guide for provision.

“On the basis of the estimate that the cabinet secretary has given today for the number of electric vehicles, we will need anywhere between 50,000 and 100,000 public charging points by 2030. Does the cabinet secretary accept that what is in today’s announcement will not deliver 30,000—never mind 50,000—of those public charging points? What exactly is the Government’s target for 2030?

“The cabinet secretary says that our partnership with local authorities matters, too, but we know that charging points must be maintained. Can he tell us what revenue funding will be given to councils to carry out that maintenance?

“Finally, the announcement refers only to public charging points. When will the Government bring Scotland into line with England and make it a legal requirement that all new homes with a parking place be built with an electric charging point?”

Speaking after the debate, Colin Smyth added: “In our budget proposals, Labour set out plans to increase the number by 4,000 a year.

“The SNP Government should also get on with bringing Scotland in line with England and make it a requirement that new homes should be built with charging points.

“Electric cars won’t cut congestion on our roads, especially at a time the SNP are axing rail services and hiking fares, and there remain huge cost barriers for those on low incomes when it comes purchasing them, but they do have a role to play in cutting transport emissions.

“At this rate of progress, it’s no wonder the SNP keep failing to hit their climate targets”

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