The Daily Telegraph

Electric car chargers block pavements for the disabled

- By Jack Simpson transport correspond­ent

ELECTRIC charging points for cars are making it more difficult for disabled people to move around urban areas, a report has found.

A survey of more than 1,000 disabled people found “pavement clutter”, in the form of new electric charging points, on-street dining areas and parked cars was impeding their progress.

The report by Sustrans, the walking and cycling charity, found that 41 per cent of disabled people experience problems reaching their destinatio­n on a typical journey. This increased to 55 per cent for those with mobility impairment­s or learning disabiliti­es.

Many respondent­s feared tripping or falling when attempting to navigate obstacles and parked cars, and were sometimes reluctant to leave their homes on bin day. Some pointed to the proliferat­ion of electric vehicle chargers as the reason for these difficulti­es.

The number of electric vehicle charging points is steadily rising, with Zap Map, which maps electric chargers, putting the number at 37,851 appliances across 22,355 locations. This has grown from more than 6,500 devices in 2016.

Xavier Brice, chief executive of Sustrans, said: “Putting disabled people at the centre of discussion­s about how we plan and create spaces where we can all move around easily and safely is vital.

“The UK Government must listen and take action to create places planned around people, not cars.”

Rachael Badger, at Motability, said: “It is vital [disabled] people are heard when decisions are taken about infrastruc­ture.”

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