See where the latest electric vehicle charging points are in Suffolk

Senior environmental management officer Nathan Pittam tries out the newly installed rapid charging p

Senior environmental management officer Nathan Pittam tries out the newly installed rapid charging point at Needham Lake. Picture: BMSDC - Credit: BMSDC

Plans to introduce electric charging points within 20 miles of Suffolk’s key roads have progressed with the first wave of new points having been completed.

Charging points have opened in Norwich, Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds, Needham Market and Felixstowe, with others for Swaffham, Dereham, Great Yarmouth, Harwich, Attleborough and Thetford being worked on.

The project, led by Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils, has come as part of a drive by Highways England for 95% of the major road network to have a charge point within 20 miles by April 2020.

In East Anglia, the work is focusing on points easily accessible from the A14, A12, A47 and A11.

Councillor David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for environment, said: "We are delighted to be working with Highways England and leading on this innovative scheme.

"The installation of 11 new electric vehicle rapid charging points in the region will provide EV drivers with a greater level of confidence when out and about in rural East Anglia.

"It will also allow drivers to pop into our town centres, take a quick break or a visit to the shops and return to their recharged vehicle ready to go.

"Working alongside other local authorities means we are able to support our communities and local businesses in making better choices for the wider economy, public health and importantly, the environment."

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Growth figures published last year suggested that 90% of all vehicles in the UK will be electric by 2050.

Councillor John Matthissen from the council's opposition Green group questioned why the points had only been now installed when they had been expected in February, and said car clubs where multiple people shared ownership of a vehicle, were also needed.

He added: "It's good to hear they have finally installed one in Mid Suffolk.

"Because it's a rural district electric vehicles are going to play a part in the future in achieving carbon reductions.

"The climate crisis needs big changes and while electric vehicles will play a part of that, they are a contribution to helping not the whole solution."

A timeframe for when the next series of points in Norfolk will be completed has not yet been given.

Highways England's [project lead Mark Collins said: "Highways England is committed to helping improve the nation's air quality and decarbonising road transport by introducing charge points so that electric vehicle drivers can complete their journeys as easy as drivers of vehicles with traditional engines.

"We are delighted to have been able to work closely with Mid Suffolk District Council on this project which will give road users additional charging facilities just off Highways England's network.

"The work is aimed at reducing anxiety, enabling drivers of electric vehicles to undertake longer journeys, reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality but will also bring additional benefits to the local community as people are able to visit the local area and shops whilst they charge their vehicles."

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