CANNINGTON resident Roy Pumfrey purchased an electric vehicle, hoping to do his bit to save the planet but worries Somerset residents will be put off making the switch by the lack of charging facilities available in the county.

“With the government and local authorities joining in declaring a climate emergency and encouraging us to do everything we can to be sustainable, they should be making it much easier to run an electric vehicle,” Mr Pumfrey says.

He has a charging point in his home but says charging point in Somerset are so sparse that it makes travelling difficult.

“There are limited publicly available charging points in Bridgwater apart from at the services by the motorway,” Mr Pumfrey says.

“Elsewhere in the country many supermarkets have charging points but that has not happened here.

“I have found difficulties in Taunton too as many of the places that have charging points reserve them for customers only.

“I even tried to go to Somerset County Council, who should be actively encouraging electric vehicles, but was told I could not use the charging point because I was not a guest or a member of staff and that the parking spaces might be needed.”

Mr Pumfrey says it is a Catch 22 situation, where businesses and local authorities are reluctant to invest in charging points as there is little demand in Somerset - but without the facilities people looking to get a new car in Somerset will be put off going for an electric vehicle.

He hopes the local authorities will do more to make sure developers install charging points to make going electric a much more viable option.

A spokesman for Sedgemoor District Council said: “It is a tricky one and a national challenge, and not just limited to Sedgemoor District Council.

“That is why there is a national governmental consultation out at present.

“It would be rather pointless if some areas did it and not others as it would not solve the problem of long journeys. There certainly has to be a consistent approach across the country.

“The Gravity site is seeking to have clean growth industries at its heart and SDC have encouraged and facilitated this site, with future technologies in mind.

“We are also certainly keen to see electric charging points at the Northgate site.”

A spokesman for Somerset County Council said: “The growing network of providers and EV Charging Points continues to expand across the county and those available to the general public can be located via the ‘Go Ultra Low’ website and via numerous third party App providers.

“The County Hall Car Park is restricted for staff use but does revert to a pay and display carpark on Saturdays when the public can also access the charging point.

“Department of Transport guidance continues to evolve in this area to support private enterprise and the roll out of new electric vehicle technologies, with the goal of adopting a standardised UK approach.

“SCC will continue to monitor developments.”