Electric car charging points for Welwyn Garden City

TWO electric car charging points are being installed in a town centre, to the dismay of traders.

Businesses have blasted the move, which will see the plug-in points taking up two vital free car parking spaces – three while work takes place – on the corner of Howardsgate and Parkway in WGC.

The scheme is being run by Evalu8 – a company set up by the University of Hertfordshire.

Traders have not been formally told what is going on and have not been consulted about the impact on their businesses.

They are left asking why the points are being erected outside their stores? Why they couldn’t be put in a council-run car park? Will normal cars being able to occupy the spaces? And how long will electric cars be given to park and charge up?

Belinda Walsingham, owner of The Pet & Garden Centre, said: “We’ve had no consultation at all, the first we knew was Friday when the workmen started putting out cones.

“It’s difficult to get people to walk up to us anyway, the last thing we need or want is less parking outside.

Most Read

Pizza Hut manager Anna Genovese echoed her concerns. She added: “They’ve started digging already.

“It’s really going to affect my takeaway customers.

Diane Wilson, landlady at The Cork, is supporting fellow traders. She said: “We’re really short of parking, I’m sure it’ll impact businesses, mainly the shops more than us, but we’re all in this together.”

While Frank Monastero, of The Welwyn Barber, said: “We’re not London, this is Hertfordshire, I’ve never seen anyone in an electric car.”

And one WGC insurance broker told the WHT his firm had never insured an electric car in the area.

The Evalu8 scheme will see 600 points installed across the East of England, with 105 in Luton and Hertfordshire.