Anyone hoping to use an electric car charging point in Limavady town may be facing up to a parking ticket for their troubles.
One of the only ‘e-car charging bays’ in the town, at Catherine Street, is subject to a one-hour parking restriction but needs “several hours” to fully charge an electric car.
Having noticed the apparent flaw in the parking system, Limavady Borough Council intends to contact Roads Service. A ‘Technical Services’ report, presented by Noel Crawford to the Borough’s councillors on Tuesday evening, explained how the one-hour parking limit meant e-car users “may not get much of a boost.” He added: “I would suggest that we flag that up to Roads Service.”
After hearing how it was impossible it fully charge an electric car on Catherine Street without incurrring a fine, Sinn Féin councillor Brenda Chivers remarked: “Was that not thought through?”
Elsewhere in the Limavady Borough, there are no such problems.
Another E-Car charging bay can be found at Chapel Road in Dungiven, where there are no parking restrictions in terms of time.
Noel Crawford’s Technical Services report outlined the issue: “Two on street charging points are located at Catherine Street Limavady and at Chapel Road Dungiven.
“Council is now in receipt of correspondence from Roads Service indicating that they need to amend their legislation to enable the relevant parking bays to be used as electric vehicle charging points and are asking Council for any relevant comments they may wish to make.
“It is noted that there will be no time limit on parking in the bay in Dungiven however in line with the on street parking restrictions at Catherine Street Limavady there will be a I hour limit on parking in the charging bay.
“It is worth noting that the chargers installed at these locations are not rapid charges and as such it would normally take several hours to obtain a full charge. Limiting the parking restriction to one hour may therefore compromise the effectiveness of the charging point and Council may wish to bring this to the attention of Roads Service.”
Asked about the number of people using the e-car chargers, Mr Crawford explained that it was a “bit of a chicken and egg situation at the moment” whereby no-one will use an e-car unless there are chargers, and no-one would install the chargers unless there were e-car users.
Sinn Féin councillor Tony McCaul took a different view, however, saying: “By the time the electric cars catch on the ones we have around the Borough will be totally obsolete.”