Consultation Digest (National) Issue 13, 1 July 2022: The one before the summer holidays.

Summer is here and the Scottish Parliament is now in recess. So time to kick back and enjoy a well deserved holiday away from all those consultations. But before that there’s one more consultation to respond to.

Section 1: Current Consultations

(in date order for responses)

1.1: Scottish Government – Review of permitted development rights – phase 2 consultation

This review of permitted development rights (PDRs) covers two areas you may be interested in providing your views on to government:

  • Electric vehicle charging infrastructure – making it easier to install EV chargers in our communities.
  • Changes of use in centres and other locations – making it easier to change building use which could have benefit in creating 20-minute neighbourhoods.

The biggest issue in this consultation is that we want more EV charging points and they should be easier to install. But (and its a big BUT) EV chargers must not be located in places which block pavements or cycle lanes. Sounds obvious, but there are plenty of examples of bad practice. For example, see my response to this tweet.

EV chargers taking up space on pavement

Question 15 is the key question to respond to on this. It asks ‘What conditions and limitations would need to be placed on any additional PDR for EV charging infrastructure in roads? Please explain your answer’. Here are a few points I suggest you make:

  • More EV charging infrastructure on Scotland’s roads as one of the solutions to decarbonising transport.
  • Limitations must be set so that EV chargers are not located on footways, footpaths or cycle ways.
  • EV chargers for cars, vans and other EV vehicles should be in the carriageway or take space from the carriageway. For example, through a build out of the footway into the carriageway. (There may be some exceptions where a footway/pavement is wide enough to accommodate chargers.)
  • EV charging points on footpaths and footways often leave insufficient space for pedestrians to safely pass. Furthermore, they can be hazardous for blind, partially sighted and disabled people.
  • EV charging points should not be installed where their cables could obstruct future cycle tracks, since charging points cannot be relocated easily.
  • PDRs should extend to EV charging for e-bikes so that councils and other bodies can install e-bike charging facilities at new or future cycle parking infrastructure.

Closes 3 August 2022.

Section 2: Forthcoming Consultations

Transport Scotland is developing a new Cycling Framework and Delivery Plan for Active Travel which is the follow up to the Cycling Action Plan. This will be very important for driving forward action on cycling so will be a highlight of a digest sometime in the autumn.

Section 3: Consultation Feedback

None this month