THE number of points for electric vehicles in Barnsley has more than trebled in two years after the town was found to be ‘lagging behind’ the rest of the country due to its slower roll-out, according to new figures.

Department for Transport statistics show there were 51 publicly-provided charging points in Barnsley on January 1 - up from just 14 two years ago.

Barnsley residents had also installed 813 at-home charging points through the government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme as of January 1 - a 190 per cent increase over the last two years.

There have also been 130 charging points installed at workplaces, taking Barnsley’s total to over 1,000.

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson for regeneration and culture, praised the knock-on impact of installing more chargers for both residents and subsequent air quality improvement.

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“One of our key ambitions as a council is a sustainable Barnsley and I’m delighted that we’re able to offer electric vehicle charging at car parks across our borough.

“These are available both to those visiting our local centres and those residents who want to use them to charge overnight.

“This extra investment will help expand EV charging infrastructure and encourage more people to make the switch to electric vehicles when it’s time to change their car.”

The government is aiming to entirely phase out petrol and diesel-powered cars by 2030 but with electric vehicles planned to account for all car sales by 2035, it has faced criticism for not providing enough charging points for many people to purchase electric vehicles.

However, Barnsley already lags behind the rest of the UK in terms of the number of charge points per 100,000 residents, according to a report, and while action is currently being taken by the council to improve the situation in Barnsley, there is a ‘requirement’ for both rapid charging and additional fast chargers to ‘ensure that residents are provided with adequate infrastructure to support the change from diesel and petrol engine vehicles to electric vehicles’.

Latest car parks now offering chargers are located at Bank Street, Cudworth; Churchfields, town centre; Duke Street, Hoyland; Elsecar Heritage Centre; Queen Street, Goldthorpe; Sackville Street, town centre; Shrewsbury Road, Penistone; Summer Lane, Wombwell and its nearby park-and-ride.

It added: “Barnsley falls below the current average UK provision for number of EV chargers per 100,000 people.

“The sale of new diesel and petrol engine vehicles will be banned in the UK from 2030 and residents will increasingly need to adapt to electric vehicles.

“The council will need to ensure that adequate infrastructure is available to support residents to make the transition to electric vehicles.”