GOING: The electric car charging equipment
GOING: The electric car charging equipment

OFFICIALS are looking to remove electric car charging equipment from Barnard Castle’s main car park after it was put in place without permission but will replace it with a “sleeker” unit.

A number of residents have been upset about the loss of a parking space after the electrical box, surrounded by bollards, was put in place a fortnight ago. The pay and display car park opposite Morrison’s supermarket has bays for 175 vehicles, as well as parking for five coaches, and locals say it is often full.

Care worker Clare Nicholson, from Eggleston, said: “I nearly drove into it the other day because you can’t see it as you drive in. There’s no signage and someone’s obviously hit the poles already because they’re not straight.”

Fellow Middleton Care worker Diana Nicholson added: “Trying to get parking is a nightmare in Barney – we should be adding parking, not removing it.

“When you’ve got the market or farmer’s market, they don’t offer any alternative places to park and this is just going to make it worse.”

Under Durham County Council’s proposals, three electronic vehicle (EV) charging points are planned for the town. The other two will be in the Queen Street car park and in the grounds of The Bowes Museum. The project will focus on sites not usually used for public parking at night and will allow residents without off-street parking to be within five minutes’ walk of a charge point.

Town residents Sheila and Peter Dixon thought EV points were a good idea but questioned the logic of the location. Mr Dixon said: “Did they throw a dart in a map to come up with that location. If it had been on the boundary, it wouldn’t impede people getting in or out.

“Someone is going to drive into the bay and find it’s blocked.”

Dave Wafer, Durham County Council’s head of transport and contract services, said: “We are currently planning on installing two EV charging points in the car park. Although, this will mean the loss of one parking space, it is important that we provide such facilities at locations around the county.

“As a council we have pledged to take action to reduce the county’s carbon emissions and making electric vehicle charging points more widespread will help us in our goal by enabling the practical use of electric vehicles.

“The equipment currently on site was installed without our permission and we are looking into how this has happened and seeking its removal.

“We will also be replacing it with a sleeker, more accessible EV charging point in due course.”