Burgess Hill has had no working public electric vehicle charging points available for the last seven months, according to Green Party members.
Anne Eves, Green councillor for the Leylands ward, raised the issue at a Mid Sussex District Council meeting last month as facilities at the Cyprus Road car park still out of action.
She said: “Electric vehicle charging points are supposed to be a ‘flagship project’ of the district council’s sustainability strategy. It is scandalous that a town of 30,000 people has no public charging points. It is a major inconvenience to electric car drivers and deters them from coming to this town.”
The district council said work was already underway on a district-wide rollout of extra charging points and a permanent fix to the EVCP at Cyprus Road would be included. This is due to start from late summer.
Burgess Hill resident Jonathan Cherry leases an EV vehicle but has no drive or garage on which to charge it. He can charge up at work but has nowhere to charge at the weekend unless he drives to Haywards Heath or Hassocks.
He said: “I’ve bought many coffees in Haywards Heath while waiting for my car to charge there – coffees that could have been bought in Burgess Hill instead.”
Another Mid Sussex electric vehicle owner filed a freedom of information request which showed there are 12 chargers in the district, ten of which are public, meaning there is one point available per 15,000 residents.
He felt the lack of charging points across Mid Sussex, and in particular Burgess Hill, is likely to put off drivers from switching to cleaner electric cars.
Burgess Hill Town Council is now looking at ways of stepping in to solve this problem and install new charging points.
John Belsey, MSDC’s cabinet member for environment and service delivery, said: “We are well aware of the ongoing issue with the Cyprus Road Electric Vehicle Charging Point (EVCP) in Burgess Hill and apologise that is has now been out of use for some time.
“The demand for our ECVP’s has increased four-fold recently and means that we now need to increase the supply of power to them.
“Work is already underway to roll out an additional 26 ECVP’s with increased power across the district.
“A permanent fix to the Cyprus Road ECVP will be included in this roll out which is due to commence from late summer.”