Muir launches public petition for rapidly improved Electric Vehicle charging

Alliance Party Infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA has launched a public petition calling for the Minister for Infrastructure to rapidly improve the Electric Vehicle (EV) charging networking in Northern Ireland. 

The online petition, launched on Tuesday morning, notes that while Northern Ireland’s EV charging network was world-leading when it was established back in 2010, a decade of decay and under-investment have seen it fall to being the worst network of any region in the UK and Ireland.  The petition calls on the Minister for Infrastructure to set out a comprehensive and detailed strategy for the rapid improvement of the public EV charging network, and will be presented to the Minister when the Northern Ireland Assembly returns from recess in September. 

Mr Muir said “Northern Ireland’s EV charging network is a shambles.  At a time when we need to be encouraging people to switch to EVs to tackle the climate emergency, the awful state of our current charging network means that people who previously had bought an EV are considering switching back to petrol or diesel cars.” 

“I speak to constituents in North Down all the time who would like to switch to an EV, but worry that they won’t be able to charge their vehicles when they need to.  For those who regularly take long journeys for work or to see family, the lack of a reliable charging network across Northern Ireland is the major issue.  For those without a driveway, the lack of on-street or at work charge points makes EV ownership almost impossible. In addition to the charging network, the Alliance Party’s Green New Deal has called for interest free loans which could be used on top of existing grants to encourage people to go electric.” 

“The Department for Infrastructure cannot wash its hands of this issue, and there has been a real lack of progress since the Assembly was restored in January 2020.  The Minister urgently needs to bring forward and comprehensive and detailed strategy that will bring the public and the private sector to work together to build a fit-for-purpose, on-street EV charging network.  This petition will send a strong statement to the Minister, and I urge people to sign it.”

Link to public petition on Electric Vehicles: chng.it/Fv9NLWMZ

Muir welcomes progress on Bangor South Urban Greenway

Alliance North Down MLA Andrew Muir has welcomed a commitment from the Minister for Infrastructure to consider options for a new urban greenway in Bangor. 

Mr Muir wrote to the Minister for Infrastructure asking her department to formally consider three potential routes for a Greenway that would connect Bangor Town Centre and both the new Greenway due to run from Newtownards plus the new site for Bangor Integrated Primary School on the Balloo Road.  The Minister confirmed that her department were working with Ards and North Down Council to consider a number of schemes in the area, and that once that work had been completed she would provide firm commitments on specific proposals. 

Mr Muir said “I have been lobbying to ensure a proper cycling route is established from Balloo Road area to Bangor Town Centre, particularly important to ensure staff, pupils and parents of Bangor Integrated Primary School have a safe and accessible route to walk or cycle from Bangor Town Centre to their new site on the Balloo Road.  As part of that work, I’ve been engaging with local parents, teachers, and councillors to identify three potential routes that the proposed greenway could take”. 

“It is welcome to hear that the Department for Infrastructure and officials at Ards and North Down Council are actively working together on this.  I will continue to press the Minister to bring forward firm commitments as soon as possible, so that work can be completed prior to the opening of the new school site in 2024.”.

“The new urban greenway would also compliment the council’s plans to create a greenway between Newtownards and Conlig. The Greenway is due to terminate in the Green Road area of Conlig and would be real success if a direct dedicated route was provided into the town centre, opening up access to more Bangor residents and encouraging visitors to come visit our wonderful town”