Making electric vehicle charging points more accessible

A North East council is hosting an open event next week aimed at making electric vehicle charging points more accessible for those with disabilities.

The gathering, organised by Durham County Council, will take place at Sniperley Park and Ride in Framwellgate Moor on Wednesday 6 October, involving a simple mock-up of an electric vehicle charging device for a user trial. There will also be an opportunity to experience the use of an operational charge point.

Many people are concerned about the potential implications of changing over to electric vehicles as a means of private transport. This is especially the case for many disabled people who are dependent on a private vehicle as their main form of transport.

The aim of the event is to test out the accessibility of the mock-up unit, in particular involving those with impaired mobility including wheelchair users. The council also plans to offer attendees the opportunity to experience the activity of connecting an electric vehicle to an operational charging point.

From both activities, the council hopes to gather feedback from participants on their experience which will help to inform current development work for accessible charging point facilities.

Cllr Mark Wilkes, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “The use of electric vehicles brings huge benefits, including reduced pollution for our environment and reduced refuelling costs for drivers, which is why we hope bring about new developments with more electric charging points in the county in the coming years.

“As a council, we have pledged to take action to reduce the county’s carbon emissions and learning more about how easy members of the public find it to use charging points will help us to see where we can improve our offering of this facility for drivers with disabilities.”

The event will form part of work on the ‘Electric Vehicle Charge-Point Guidance Development Project’ for accessible public EV Charging facilities, on behalf of the council, the SOSCI (Scaling On-Street Charging Infrastructure) Project and its partner organisations.

It is planned to run between 11am and 3pm, with attendees allocated a 30-minute time slot to visit based on their availability. Attendees are asked to provide their details and preferences for a time slot.

Organisers will need to know how many people may attend to provide visitors with individual or group timeslots.

To confirm attendance for the event, email [email protected] call 0191 416 6560 or text 07973 432171.

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