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Damien Moore MP welcomes the Department for Transport's 381 million Local Electric Fund to increase EV changepoints across the UK

LOCAL Member of Parliament for Southport, Damien Moore, welcomes the Department for Transport's 381 million pound investment into the UK's EV charging infrastructure through the creation of a dedicated fund to support people switching from petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles.

The dedicated fund, entitled:- 'Local Electric Vehicle' Fund (LEVI), delivers 381 million to 44 Council and Local Authorities across England to install the next generation of public charging infrastructure by the:- 18 March 2024; building on the Conservative's record in installing over 56,000 changepoint's across the UK; up 47% since 2023.

The funding will support the delivery of thousands of chargepoints across England, helping more drivers get from A to B easily and supporting families in making the switch.

Additionally, the local authorities already allocated to the second round of LEVI funding will be able to apply to the fund from 2 April 2024, following those who have received funding in the first round and a further boost to the chargepoint rollout.

To further support electric vehicle (EV) drivers and families looking to switch to electric, the Government is ensuring households without driveways or dedicated parking spaces can access the electric vehicle chargepoint grant.

Delivering on our Plan for Drivers commitment to make EVs a more practical option, the 350 grant will be widened to those who own or rent and have access to adequate street parking.

The funding will drive down the cost of EV ownership by providing up to 75% off the price of purchasing and installing a chargepoint, and applicants must also have permission from their council to install a cross pavement charging solution.

Today's announcement follows the introduction of the zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate into law earlier this year, which is the most ambitious regulatory framework for the switch to electric vehicles of any country in the world. The ZEV mandate requires 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain to be zero emission by 2030, and 100% by 2035, providing certainty to both consumers and industry while helping to safeguard skilled UK jobs in the car industry.

Commenting, Member of Parliament for Southport, Damien Moore, said:- "I am pleased to see the Government continue to invest heavily in the UK's rapidly evolving national charging infrastructure, facilitating additional consumer choice, vehicular market competitiveness, and carbon reduction; maintaining mobility while reducing emissions. However, while increased funding is essential to continue our national charging infrastructure roll out; enhanced through the Department for Transport's (DfT') 10.3 million allocation for the Liverpool City Region, renewed focus must be placed on proven, low/zero-carbon technologies, including rail regeneration through projects such as the Burscough Curves. With over 300,000 constituents located with the Burscough Curves transport catchment, and with 75% of all interRegional transportation being currently facilitated through private car ownership on heavily congested road networks, investment in proven, cost-effective technologies should remain integral to our long term, innovative investment programme into levelling up Southport's transportation needs."

Commenting, Technology and Decarbonisation Minister, Anthony Browne, said:- "This Government has a plan to help speed up the installation of EV chargepoints, which we're getting on and delivering. This dedicated funding to local councils is part of our plan to ensure people can switch from a petrol or diesel car to an EV when they choose to do so."

Commenting, Edmund King OBE, AA president, said:- "AA surveys show that 1 of the main reasons why many drivers are hesitant towards switching to EVs is the perception that there are not enough charging points. To give confidence to drivers now and for the future, we need to overcome these barriers, which will help unlock cleaner, greener motoring for all. Extending grants to those without off-street parking is a step in the right direction. I'm proud to be co-chairing the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Forum as I'm committed to helping consumers transition to zero emission vehicles and an efficient, affordable, accessible charging infrastructure is key to that. I'm also confident that the UK's brilliant charging and automotive industry can deliver and play a key part in the UK's net zero ambitions."

Let us know your thoughts on this news topic... Email our Newsroom at:- News24@SouthportReporter.Com or send us a message on:-  Mastodon, Facebook or Twitter.

'Early signs of spring becoming the new norm' says the Woodland Trust

"EARLIER signs of spring; such as the 1st leafing of trees or the 1st sightings of butterflies; could be here to stay" says the Woodland Trust.

1 of the 1st trees to come into leaf is the elder and for the last 5 years citizen science collected records of its 1st leafing have been earlier than the 20 year average by:- 4 to 16 days. 2024 seems to be following suit.

Observations of leafing on the likes of:- larch, rowan and oak have also been early; 1 to 2 weeks before the average. And there have been many sightings of brimstone butterflies already; traditionally 1 of the 1st to be spotted each year; about 2 weeks earlier than usual.

Dr Judith Garforth, Citizen Science Officer at the Woodland Trust, recorded elder first leaf on 20 Feb in North Yorkshire and said spring is spreading north rapidly.

She said:- "Whilst the sighting of an elder In leaf was a very welcome glimmer of spring after all the grim wet weather, it was much earlier than I'd expect, especially this far north. Overall though, the general trend is continuing with spring arriving earlier and becoming something like the new norm. Our data provides the clearest evidence of a changing climate affecting wildlife."

These early signs of spring are not a surprise this year since Met Office data showed temperatures in February 2.2C above the average, making it the warmest February on record for England and Wales. And the spring index, which compares modern and historic data is running 8.7 days earlier.

Dr Garforth said earlier springs can lead to ecological food chains becoming:- 'mismatched' or out of sync.

For example, a study led by Malcolm Burgess that used the Nature's Calendar oak leafing data, showed that early oak leafing lead to an earlier peak in the number of moth caterpillars, which meant that blue tits needed to match their breeding timing so that their chicks were at their hungriest when caterpillar numbers were at their highest. However, the study found that the blue tits were able to react less quickly to the early spring temperatures compared to the trees and moths. This led to the timing of hungry chicks being later than the timing of peak caterpillar abundance, which in turn meant less food for the chicks, and therefore less food resources which leads to a decrease in breeding success.

Dr Garforth added:- "Another example is that we sometimes see insects emerging early in the spring before there are many flowers blooming to provide a good food source for them. Change has happened very quickly which is why the best option to help wildlife would be to slow it down by reducing CO2 emissions and by planting more trees. We must continue to monitor this ever-important data we receive to keep tracking nature's response."

More volunteers are needed to become citizen scientists to keep this 300 year old recording tradition alive. Go to:- NaturesCalendar.WoodlandTrust.Org.UK to find out more.

Nature's Calendar is supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery.

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