Electric vehicle (EV) charging points installed on pavements across Islington could prove hazardous for some pedestrians, Green Party councillor Caroline Russell has warned.
At the full council meeting two weeks ago, Cllr Russell highlighted that some boxes had already started appearing on the footway in the borough.
She asked transport chief Cllr Claudia Webbe why this had happened, when previously the charging points had been installed on pavement build-outs on streets such as Sheringham Road.
“These electric vehicle charging points can be as big as petrol pumps,” Cllr Russell said.
“If they’re installed on the pavement, they end up cluttering the footway, making it much more difficult to navigate for some pedestrians.”
Instead, Cllr Russell suggests that the chargers should be built on pavement build outs, where the pavement widens into the road to accommodate the structures.
She added: “I met a blind woman who lives on Battledean Road and she does so much to get out, but a new charging point on her street has now put another obstacle in her way.”
In a written response to Cllr Russell’s question, Cllr Webbe said that the council does not currently prohibit EV chargers from being built on pavements.
“If all new EV charging points were prohibited from being located on the pavement, it would significantly hamper the Council’s ability to provide the infrastructure necessary to support the transition from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric vehicles,” she wrote.
However, in a bid to ensure that all footways remain as accessible as possible Cllr Webbe said she had “instructed council officers to work with Source London to ensure that all new EV charging points provide a wider clear footway width of 1.5 meters.”
Source London is an EV charging point provider, which was started by Boris Johnson and is now owned by french transport company the Bolloré group.
Cllr Webbe added: “Council officers are also ensuring that all new rapid chargers are installed on build outs in the carriageway, such as the one on Sherringham Road, unless there are special site circumstances.”
Cllr Russell said she was pleased that Cllr Webbe was taking some steps to prevent EV charging points being installed on the pavement, but that more needed to be done.
“There needs to be a proper policy decision to ensure that our footways are not overrun by electric vehicle charging points,” she said.
“Installing these charging points on pavement build outs will actually benefit pedestrians by providing more space to cross the road.”
Some areas like the City of London have adopted a pedestrian-friendly electric vehicle charging policy, that avoids any charging points or boxes being located on the pavement.
It is expected that by 2022, 400 extra electric vehicle points will be installed across Islington.