Councillors have agreed to show Belfast is “a city preparing for electric cars.”
At the council’s latest meeting of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee, SDLP Councillor Brian Heading suggested officers examine the feasibility of a pilot scheme to provide car parking for electric cars in council car parks, with infrastructure to be provided at a later stage.
Councillor Heading said: “We know from government announcements that by 2030 the sale of petrol and diesel cars will apparently be banned, and we should all be looking to purchase an electric car.”
He said as soon as it was feasible, the council should have a pilot scheme offering spaces for electric and hybrid cars in its car parks “as a way of providing an incentive,” following the example of some local authorities in the Republic and GB.
He said Belfast should tell residents and visitors “this is a city that is preparing for electric cars.”
Belfast City Council has 30 car parks across all of the city, 15 with free parking, and the other 15 with daytime charges on weekdays.
Green Councillor Mal O’ Hara said the proposal should be part of a general review of the city car parking strategy this year.
Sinn Fein Councillor Ronan McLaughlin said he would support the proposal, but “didn’t understand” leaving charging points to a later stage as people with electric vehicles “wanted car parks with associated infrastructure.”
He said when it came to the point that infrastructure was to be built it should be covered “by the council and not private companies.”
A council representative said that the issue would be investigated by officers “once resources became available” and agreed that a report on how this could be facilitated would be brought back “in due course.”