PROVIDING two hours free parking for electric vehicles while charging will require a change of bye-laws in each town, the meeting of Kildare co Council was told last week.
The topic arose on foot of a motion by Social Democrat councillor Bill Clear, of Naas Municipal District, seeking an amendment of a council resolution on 23 June. The initial text read: ‘That the council defers any decision to charge or pay parking at electric charging points until there is sufficient charging points in the county. Currently there are 12 charging points county wide but this number needs to grow substantially if we are to favour electric cars over petrol/diesel but in the event of pay parking being introduced, the first two hours should remain free – be referred to the Transportation, Safety and Emergency Services SPC for consideration’.
He proposed that the final part of the last sentence be altered to read: ‘be considered by the members of the plenary council’. A requirement of written assent from not less than six members of the council was met. It was noted that the amendment to the resolution was sought as the Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) Scheme is under review and no meetings of the SPCs can take place until the revised scheme has been adopted by the members and the new committees established.
Cllr Clear said that it had been custom and practice for six years that when people were charging their electric cars they were not charged for parking. He said that it was changed overnight and people suddenly found themselves getting tickets without warning.
Director of Services Niall Morrissey told the meeting that there was a presumption regarding free EV parking but this was never custom and practice. He remarked that a change in bye laws in each town would be required, adding that they have to charge to ensure the turnover of spaces and that there was no change overnight.
In a written report issued in response to the motion, Mr Morrissey noted that the council is awaiting clarification on future funding for the installation of EV charging points following a recent announcement by Minister Richard Bruton. He also clarified that there are 12 EV designated charging points identified in current bye laws in Naas, Sallins, Newbridge, Kildare, Celbridge, Leixlip, Maynooth, Clane, Athy and Kilcock. “There are four of these designated charge points installed at this time in Naas and Athy,” he stated in the report.