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Proposal to make public charge point installation more straightforward

Among a number of new measures announced today is a grant to help state-funded education institutes to install EV charging infrastructure.  

The Department for Transport funded grant will provide up to 75% of the cost to buy and install charge points, up to a maximum of £2,500 per socket, for up to 40 sockets.

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The grant forms part of the Workplace Charging Scheme and will be made available to for state-funded schools, colleges, nurseries and academies to boost the charge point facilities for staff and visitors. This could also help schools to generate revenue by making their charge points available to the public.

A consultation has also been launched into changing the way in which Charge Point Operators (CPOs) are granted permission to carry out work on public streets.

CPOs currently have to apply for a for a Section 50 license, which is a drawn out and often costly process. As the Government point out, ‘Section 50 was not designed as a legislative tool to support the rollout of such major infrastructure projects. It was, essentially, to allow for ad hoc street works to be carried out by those organisations which do not regularly need to do this.’

Obviously CPOs would be working regularly, so it is proposed to put them into the same category as those who or install or maintain water, gas, electricity or telecoms infrastructure on public roads. These bodies have already been given a statutory right to carry out works, all they need to do is apply for a permit when they need to begin new work.

Applications for permits for works that last for three days or less need to be sent within three days of when the work needs to start, and the Highways Authority must respond within two days. The maximum permit fee that can be charged is either £45 or £60 depending on the type of road.

Applications for permits for works which last between four and 10 days need to be sent 10 days before the works need to begin, and the Highways Authority must respond within five days. Maximum fees for standard permits are £75 or £130 depending on the type of road involved.

If CPOs were given a statutory right to carry out works they would then apply for specific permits through Street Manager – the Department for Transport service. As this is used by every Highways Authority in England, CPOs could sue the system to apply for permits for all areas.

The consultation on this runs until 12th April

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