A motorist is calling for action to fix the charging points for electric vehicles in a Sheffield car park, after not being able to charge his car for over a month at the site.
Nigel Murch, aged 59, commutes daily from his home in Middlestown, West Yorkshire to Sheffield, a 26 mile journey which is largely emission free thanks to the use a hybrid vehicle which uses combines a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor.
However, Nigel says that unfortunately due to charging points at the Rockingham Street car park being unavailable for use, he is unable to complete his journey purely by electric and avoid polluting the environment.
Nigel is construction site manager for Interserve – who are currently building the ‘Heartspace’ for the engineering faculty of the University of Sheffield – therefore the Rockingham Street site is convenient for parking.
He said Interserve encourages the use of electric vehicles and gave him a car allowance for his Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
They have also paid for season parking passes for managers at the Rockingham Street Car Park, who advertise the use of electric charging points with a sign to encourage drivers.
However, when Nigel started using the car park on December 3, he was told that he could not charge his car as the charging point was not connected to the main distribution board, but that it would be available for use by the New Year.
But, at the end of January they still remain unavailable for use.
Nigel said: “I was told that nobody had charged there, but that it would be fixed within a couple of weeks. My car gets around 36 miles on a full charge, so I can get to Sheffield but only a quarter of the way home.
“The car park is really convenient as it is only around a 300 metre walk away from the site where I’m working. It's like a shop front being full, and you going in and they say you can't buy anything.
“It is annoying that people like myself are encouraged to buy hybrid or electric cars, but cannot charge them. Considering it is 2019 and electric vehicles are going to be more reliant on charging points this does not bode well.
“The parking attendant even left a note on my windscreen saying ‘please do not park in these spaces, as they are intended for EV charging only.”
Robert Byrne, Founder and Managing Director of Franklin Energy who manage and operate a number of charging points for Q-Park, said: “We have experienced some issues with the charger at Sheffield Rockingham and it is now top of our agenda to resolve the matter swiftly.
“This is the first time we have experienced technical issues at Sheffield Q Parks and we are planning to compensate all those effected by offering them free credit on our LiFe network.”
He added that Franklin Energy are looking to add more charging points across Sheffield and those for electric cars are fully operational at Q-Park Castlegate.