Why is Garstang failing to keep up with modern motorists?
That’s the question from one frustrated driver whose eco-friendly quest to run an electric car has hit a local obstacle - a serious lack of charging power points.
Malcolm McNeil and his wife Annette are delighted to be awaiting delivery of their new electric car, which will replace a diesel run vehicle.
But, as he aranged for the installation of a power charging point at his own home, he was amazed to discover the paucity of charging points in Garstang and district.
In fact he believes his home in Catterall and a local health club may be the only charging facilities available locally, with Forton motorway service station offering a charging service a little further afield.
He said: “Electric cars are becoming popular. I’m getting a new electric car a week on Saturday. There’s nothing really in the Garstang area apart from the health club and that’s a private one.”
Fortunately for Malcolm his workplace - the Heysham Nuclear Power Station has charging points and he knows he can charge the car there while he is working.
Malcolm is proud of his interest in technology and predicts the demand for electric cars is going to grow as prices drop. Noting their new car would be “a lot more environmentally friendly” he said: "I’m the sort of person who embraces new technology."
Now help for Malcolm and other electric car enthusiasts in Garstang and district could be at hand.
Booths Supermarket chain is currently investigating options for installing electric car charging points at 26 stores next year, including the Garstang store . A spokeswoman said: “This is part of our drive to be a more sustainable business and meet the needs of our customers.
"Booths are currently in the process of seeking the necessary permissions to progress this initiative which we anticipate will be carried out in 2019.”
Meanwhile Lancashire County Council has revealed it is poised to develop a charging point network. Peter Bell, Lancashire County Council's regulation and enforcement manager, said: “We have received funding from the Department for Transport to establish a network of 150 charging points for electric vehicles.The scheme aims to increase take-up of electric vehicles by ensuring owners can always find somewhere to recharge when making local journeys, and should make a real difference when people are considering whether to buy an electric vehicle.”
Wyre Council too says it hopes to make the borough more electric car friendly. A spokesperson said: “We are working with our electricity provider at options for the provision of electrical vehicle charging points across the borough.”