DfT's 'new money' looks like unclaimed electric vehicle cash

 

Doubts have arisen over ministers’ claims to have ‘doubled’ funding for electric vehicle chargepoints after the Government would not deny that it was recallocating unclaimed cash from a scheme that has previously experienced low take-up.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said councils will have access to an extra £2.5m this year under the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which it said could pay for the installation of over 1,000 new chargepoints.

”Local

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: ‘It’s vital that electric vehicle drivers feel confident about the availability of chargepoints near their homes. That’s why we are now doubling the funding available for local authorities to continue building the infrastructure we need to super-charge the zero emission revolution.’

A DfT spokesperson said the additional £2.5m represented a doubling of this year's funding but was unable to clarify whether this involved the reallocation of underspend from previous years.

It appears that the additional cash, which the DfT spokesperson said was ‘new money’, is actually less than the unspent allocation to date, which could be nearly £3m.

The scheme, which covers up to 75% of the cost of procuring and installing charge points, launched in 2016, with £1m available during 2016/17, a further £1.5m available during 2017/18.

By December 2017, it was announced that a further £4.5m would be up for grabs, comprising £2m during 2018/19 and £2.5m during 2019/20.

However, in January 2018, ministers had to write to councils arging take-up the scheme, after admitting that only five councils had come forward. Two had been awarded a total of £150,000, with three applications being assessed.

Cash from the scheme comes via the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles and is administered via the Energy Saving Trust (EST).  The EST told Transport Network that in 2017/2018, there was one application, which was awarded £40,725.

It is clear that ministers were aware of the low take-up of the scheme and the significant underspend – nearly the entire £2.5m allocation – when announcing the extra funding in 2017.

At that time, local authorities argued that they did not have the funds to provide the remaining 25% of installation costs.

However, it appears that the ministerial push was successful. According to the EST, 23 successful applications were awarded £1,554,775 in 2018/2019, although this still left £445,245 unallocated.

The EST said this was due to a few larger applications dropping out at the last minute for various reasons, including being unable to complete the works during the financial year, as required.

It also pointed out that the costs of schemes could go up or down between cash being awarded and actually passed to councils.

Nevertheless, it appears that the total underspend on the first three years of the scheme is approximately £2.5m to £3m, suggesting that the ‘new’ cash represents a recycling of unspent allocations.

Mike Thornton, the EST’s group director of operations, said: ‘An estimated 25% of cars are parked on street overnight and on-street chargepoints enable their owners to access convenient, cost-effective charging on their doorstep. The switch to ultra-low emission vehicles is essential to reduce emissions and improve air quality in line with Road to Zero’s ambitions.’

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Highway Rangers

Epping Forest District Council
£24,354
Epping Forest District Council (EFDC) is seeking to recruit two Highway Rangers within our Contracts and Technical Services department Epping Forest, Waltham Abbey
Recuriter: Epping Forest District Council

Head of Highways, Transport and Recycling

Powys County Council
£77,282 – £84,102 per annum 
We are seeking to recruit a highly motivated and inspirational leader as our new Head of Highways, Transport and Recycling here in Powys. Powys
Recuriter: Powys County Council

Waste Loaders

City of York Council
£9.52 per hour
Do you have a current UK driving licence? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

General Operatives/Drivers/Gardeners

City of York Council
£9.52 to £10.30 dependent upon experience
Do you have a current UK driving licence? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Programme Manager - Highways

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£42,683 - £44,632
Are you an experienced, talented and collaborative Programme Manager with experience of supporting public sector transformation and change? Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

(Senior) Environmental Health Officer/Enforcement Officer

Brent Council
£35,724 - £41,706 p.a. inc.
We are looking for Environmental Health Officers; EHRB registered and has current experience in food safety and health & safety enforcement. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Road worker/Ground worker

City of York Council
£10.30 per hour
Have you successfully worked as part of a team? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

HGV Relief Driver

North West Leicestershire District Council
Salary Band D, £21,589- £24,799 per year (pro rata to period of contract)
We are looking to recruit temporary HGV Relief Drivers with occasional loading duties to join NWLDC’s busy Waste Services Team. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Waste Services Worker (Loader)

North West Leicestershire District Council
Band B, £18,795 - £19,171 per year (pro rata to the length of contract)
We are looking for Waste Operations Loaders to join our Waste Services Team to undertake waste collection and other related duties. Coalville, Leicestershire
Recuriter: North West Leicestershire District Council

Chargehand/Ganger

City of York Council
£11.09 per hour
Do you have experience of excavation, reinstatement and footway maintenance schemes? York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Sustainability & Resilience Manager (maternity cover)

Essex County Council
£51510.0 - £58752 per annum
This fixed-term contract will begin in August 2020 and is expected to last until October 2021 Interviews scheduled to be held Wednesday 10th June 2020 England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Civil Service Deputy Director Roles

GOV.UK
£70,000 - £117,800 & excellent rewards
We’re looking for significant experience of engaging at C-Suite and Board levels, excellent partnership-building and... England
Recuriter: GOV.UK

Engineer (Highways Scheme Design)

Medway Council
£31,888 - £37,646 per annum
The post-holder will be required to have highway engineering expertise in order to contribute to efficient and effective provision of... Medway City Estate, Rochester
Recuriter: Medway Council

Principal Flood Risk Officer

Lancashire County Council
£42,683-£46,566
We have an exciting opportunity for a Principal Floor Risk Officer Lancashire
Recuriter: Lancashire County Council

Resources and Waste Commercial and Contracts Manager

Northumberland County Council
£47,107 - £50,394
We are looking for a strategic, innovative and performance-focused leader to join us as Resources and Waste; Commercial and Contracts Manager. County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Principal Planning Liaison Officer X3

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Estate Roads Engineer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Travel Plan Officer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
We have a number of fantastic opportunities in Somerset at various levels Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Assistant Estate Roads Engineer x2

Somerset County Council
£25,295 to £28,785 per annum
We have 2 exciting opportunities for enthusiastic and committed individuals to join our Highways Development Management Team Taunton, Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Design Services Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£50,430 - £55,503
We are a team of mixed experience and skills, proud to serve the people of Lincolnshire and have fun whilst doing so! Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council