LB Hounslow approve wider electric car provision and raft of green commitments

Image above: electric vehicles charging at a charing station; library image

Up to 2000 new charge points proposed

Hounslow Council has approved a raft of measures aimed at mitigating climate change, including expanding electric vehicle provision, planting 2,500 trees by spring 2023 and phasing out the use of diesel in the Council’s vehicle fleet.

At a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 16 November, Deputy Leader & Cabinet Member for Climate, Environment and Transport Strategy Cllr Katherine Dunne spoke of the importance to reaffirm the Council’s commitments to tackling the climate emergency, a sentiment which was unanimously reflected by Cabinet members as they approved the new measures.

The Council voted to approve Electrical Vehicle Charging Strategy, which will ensure all households are within a five minute walking distance of an electric vehicle charge-point by 2023. After taking in usage data and requests from motorists, the Council hopes to have 2,000 new charge-points in place by March 2026.

Other forms of electric vehicles, such as e-bikes and e-scooters, are to be further integrated into the borough’s transport network under the plans.

Locations of proposed charge-points would to be subject to a statutory consultations, taking into account the feedback received from residents.

Image above: Hounslow street sweepers

Council to phase out diesel vehicles among their fleet

Among other decisions the Councillors approved was the phasing out of diesel as the main fuel source for the Council’s vehicle fleet, though no set timeframe was given for this.

Rather than switch out to electric vehicles when the fleet is due for a refresh in 2023/24, which is the ‘preferred’ option, Councillors sided with advice to move towards phasing out diesel by using biofuel instead, which releases fewer emissions than diesel. The reason for this, according to the report signed off by councillors, is because the appropriate infrastructure to support electric vehicles is lacking and needs to be in situ prior to its procurement.

The council’s fleet of vehicles would instead use 100% Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), considered a transition fuel aimed at helping fleet operators to reduce emissions while they develop and implement fleet renewal programmes.

Ending with a recommendation for councillors to consider, the report stated:

‘A move away from diesel and a transition to an alternative fuel for the fleet would seek to ensure a considerable reduction of emissions. This approach would allow the Council to delay the purchase of more expensive electrical vehicles, allowing the vehicle market more time to mature, for decisions to be made on alternative fuels and for investment into dedicated infrastructure, and supportive systems to be put in place.’

Image above: a new tree planted in Hounslow

Up to 2,500 new trees to be planted by Spring 2023

As part of the Councils ‘Green and Blue Infrastructure’ project, a programme to deliver an additional 2,500 trees to be planted by Spring 2023 was approved, which would bring the Council closer to achieving its target of planting 20,000 trees by 2026.

Approximately 160 sites are in scope to plant 1500 trees across the borough. 225 of these trees will be planted along highways and the remaining 1275 will be planted in parks and other locations yet to be finalised. There will also be an initiative to provide 1000 free trees for residents.

The Council hope to further the ‘Urban Greening’ of the borough by ‘greening’ grey infrastructure and develop a programme to make Hounslow greener throughout neighbourhoods and town centres.

This programme includes promoting sustainable food growth, including supporting the implementation of the allotment strategy; encouraging residents to de-pave garden; and delivering the tree management strategy and tree plan that includes the planting of one tree for each new-born child in the borough.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: LB Hounslow reopens allotment waiting lists

See also: The Chiswick Area Forum discusses transport, traffic and parking

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