SDLP councillor Karen McKevitt has encouraged Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to apply for funding to facilitate e-charging infrastructure.
Funding is available from the Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV) for local councils to provide charge points for residents without off-street parking through the On-street Residential Charge Point Scheme (ORCS).
SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon is providing £350,000 of match funding from her department’s Blue Green Infrastructure Fund for local councils that submit a successful application to the ORCS.
Local councils must apply individually or collectively to the OZEV for the funding and it will then be matched by Minister Mallon.
Councillor McKevitt also welcomed environmental improvement works in Rostrevor and shop front, streetscape, open space and active travel enhancement scheme funding for Annalong and Hilltown.
Councillor McKevitt said:
“Following confirmation from SDLP Infrastructure Minister Mallon I would encourage Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to apply for this funding to set up more electrical vehicle charge points on residential streets. The more charge points that are available and easily accessible the more likely drivers will be tempted to change over from a petrol or diesel to an electric car.
“Encouraging the public to transition from traditional vehicles to electric powered will be one of the most effective ways of lowering our carbon emissions and protecting our environment. Electric cars are going to play a huge part in our lives going forward and Minister Mallon has recognised this and backed it through this funding.
“I would call on Sinn Féin Finance Minister Conor Murphy to follow suit and amend the building regulations in the North to ensure that every new home is build with the potential for e-charging infrastructure to be installed. We should be doing everything we can to remove barriers to people switching to electric cars.
“I also welcome the funding approved for Rostrevor, Annalong and Hilltown at council this week. It’s important that we do everything we can to support green initiatives in South Down and improving our local area is an added bonus. Rostrevor has been waiting 20 years for this important work and I know it will be warmly welcomed by the community. If we are serious about tackling the climate crisis and safeguarding our planet for future generations we need to see more of these type of positive initiatives in the near future.”