Thursday, April 18, 2024

Tanni Grey-Thompson raises car charging point access concerns

Image source, Getty Images

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Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson wants better access to charging points for disabled drivers

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is calling for improved access for all users of electric vehicle charging points.

The 11-time Paralympic gold medallist, who uses a wheelchair, said she had to opt for a diesel vehicle rather than an electric model as “accessibility is being ignored”.

She is seeking government assurances that more will be done to make charging points more accessible in the future.

The Department of Transport said charge points should be an accessible height.

It added they should also have “adequate pace”.

Baroness Grey-Thompson said: “It’s really simple – I can’t reach them.

“The problems are… the step, it’s the barrier. Some of the bays are quite busy but I have to be able to open my car door really wide.

“A lot of places don’t accommodate for that.”

Across the UK the figure is 55. The number is highest in In London, where there are 131 charging points per 100,000 population.

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Baroness Grey-Thompson said: “If they are not accessible, I don’t know what I would do – I would just run out of charge”

Baroness Grey-Thompson, chairwoman of Sport Wales, raised her concerns online, tweeting a photograph of a charging point she said was inaccessible to her.

“When it kicks in and we are all having to move to electric vehicles, I want to know what the government is doing to make sure they [charging points] are accessible.

“I put a question in this week to the government,” she said, referring to her role as a peer in the House of Lords.

“There was a big announcement about charging points but what is happening to make sure they are accessible?

“If they aren’t accessible I would have to take someone with me – it’s just ridiculous – accessibility is being ignored,” said Baroness Grey-Thompson.

“I can look on my sat nav and find a garage and some pay points but if they are not accessible, I don’t know what I would do – I would just run out of charge.”

The Department for Transport said: “We want everyone to be able to make the switch to electric vehicles and public charge points should be an accessible height with adequate space.

“Last year a government-backed national standard was published to help the industry create and install charge points that everyone can use easily, making the experience better and fairer across the UK.”


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