Altrincham’s electric car drivers deprived of town centre charging points until 2020, say Green councillors

By David Prior at

Trafford Council has been accused of failing to support electric car drivers in Altrincham after it was revealed that the charging points in Regent Road Car Park will not be replaced until next year.

The main town centre car park closed earlier this month to allow work to begin on the Chapel Square development of two apartment blocks and a new 300-space multi-storey car park.

But Altrincham’s Green Party councillors have claimed that despite knowing the car park would be likely to close “for well over a year”, there will be a three-month gap until six new on-street points are due to be installed in January.

The former Regent Road Car Park is now closed for redevelopment until 2021

The only other town centre charging points are in the Tesco car park, but councillors Michael Welton, Dan Jerrome and Geraldine Coggins say they are primarily for customers and only allow for a two-hour top-up due to parking restrictions.

Welton said: “Trafford Council have had long enough to prepare for this but haven’t made it work. Many residents have invested in electric vehicles so they can make that change and stop using petrol and diesel.

“Trafford Council should be supporting these efforts but we are so far behind. It’s critical with the climate emergency that we start making the transition to cleaner transport.”

Local Green councillors Michael Welton, Geraldine Coggins and Dan Jerrome by the old Regent Road charging point

The only other charging points within the wider Altrincham area are at Altrincham Retail Park, Asda and a single point at the Cresta Court Hotel.

One local resident, Patrick McArdle, said the council “should be doing more” to help persuade drivers to go electric.

“My partner and I really want to make the change to EV but can’t,” he said. “We have no off-road parking. We’re concerned about air pollution and the climate crisis and want to ditch our diesel car, however, we need publicly accessible charging points and there aren’t any.”

Electric vehicle owner Sarah Walmsley said that the council should invite a charger company to install at least one rapid charger to cover the gap.

“Electric car drivers won’t mind paying for a rapid charge,” she said. “It’s far worse not to have a full charge facility at all.”

A spokesperson for Trafford Council said: “Transport for Greater Manchester are in the process of changing their main supplier for the installation and maintenance of electric vehicle charging points for the Greater Manchester region. As such the Council is working to progress the installation of new EV points on a number of streets to support the existing and growing electric vehicle use within Altrincham.

“It is expected that the new contract will be in place soon and from that point we will be working with them to check electricity supplies are suitable at designated on street locations. We are anticipating that we will have operational charging points available for use from January and sooner if possible.

“The new development at Regent Road will also see a total of 10, 7kW charging points which will be in addition to the provision we will be providing for use on street within the town centre.”