Work ongoing to convert Scarborough Council vehicles into electric

Work is ongoing to convert Scarborough Council’s fleet of vehicles to electric in order to allow the authority to meet its climate change targets.
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The council declared a Climate Change emergency in 2019 which included a pledge to have the borough become carbon neutral by 2030.

By far the biggest contributor to the council’s carbon footprint is its fleet of vehicles, including its bin lorries and street sweepers.

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Members of the council’s Places and Future Overview and Scrutiny Committee heard about the difficulties in making that change.

Scarborough Town HallScarborough Town Hall
Scarborough Town Hall

Cllr Phil Trumper, who is leading a Climate Change Task Group set up by the council, told councillors that the cost of replacing larger vehicles was one obstacle.

He said: “We have made a recommendation to start the transition from diesel and petrol to electric and the recommendation was that when an older vehicle reaches the end of its time that we transition to electric.

“With regards to the larger vehicles this could be quite problematic.

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“It is basically because it is very expensive to run electric dust wagons and larger vehicles.

“So really we are not suggesting that those vehicles, we are only suggesting [that] for the smaller vehicles and smaller vans at this moment in time until the technology improves and makes it far cheaper to replace those vehicles.”

Cllr Trumper said it was hoped the bus companies would follow the council’s example and bring electric buses into the borough.

Chairman of the committee, Cllr Guy Coulson, suggested that the borough could look to use an electric car for the borough Mayor.

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The council currently hires a vehicle for the Mayor to attend events in.

Cllr Trumper added that the borough was also severely lacking in charging points for electric cars, which would have to be addressed.

He said: “We don’t have very many in the borough itself and the ones we do have are privately owned by places like supermarkets.

“So I think we are behind the curve on that as a borough and I think it is important because as people start buying and using electric cars they are going to need somewhere to charge.”

The Climate Change Task Group is due to present its final recommendations in September.