CHARGING points for electric vehicles are a step closer to being installed in town centre car parks.

Colchester Council is investigating trialling one of the devices at its Priory Street car park in Colchester later this year as part of its efforts to encourage greener travel in the town.

It chose the car park because it is used by residents and business users.

If there is enough demand and power availability elsewhere, other council car parks could have charging points installed.

Where the money for the charging points would come from and their costs depends on the type of agreement the council can negotiate. Depending on the market they might not cost anything to provide.

It comes a year after the council said it was first exploring the idea.

Now the scheme is one of several the council’s policy and public initiatives panel will talk about next week before making recommendations for further steps to the cabinet.

Retired Colchester GP Dr Laurel Spooner, a climate change activist, said: “It think it is marvellous.

“The percentage of electric vehicle charging points is rapidly rising and we should have them in all major car parks.”

Dr Spooner said she was among a group which met with Colchester’s MP Will Quince and councillor Darius Laws to ask for support in getting more charging points.

The group asked Mr Quince for charging points at Colchester Station and the Park and Ride.

Charging points at Essex University and Colchester Hospital are also being explored.

Dr Spooner said: “There are already plans afoot to get these charging points.”

She added the electric vehicles reduce vehicle emissions by 50 per cent.

“The future is definitely electric cars,” she said.

In July 2017 the Government announced the end of the sale of diesel vehicles by 2040. It is expected that there will be one million electric vehicles on the road by 2020.