RESIDENTS have called for more electric vehicle charging points to be installed in Glasgow city centre amid a spike in demand for fuel across the UK.

Members of Merchant City and Trongate Community Council have argued that recent "panic buying" of petrol and diesel has only highlighted how reliant society still is on fossil fuels. 

The group has described current charging points in place as "piecemeal" and "random". 

Community councillor, Scott Thornton, said: "There is no doubt that the number of electric vehicle charging points in the city centre has to be increased. The only questions are how and when.

"At present, charging points in the city centre are piecemeal and apparently random.

"A shift to electric propulsion is inevitable as the UK shifts from fossil fuels with recent petrol shortages highlighting how reliant society is on them.

"We would like to see a carefully planned expansion, perhaps modest at first, while realising that at present, they tend to occupy vehicle parking spaces for many hours and that their funding can be problematic."

Glasgow Times:

On Sunday, the UK Government suspended competition laws to allow suppliers to target petrol stations that are running low.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney told yesterday how Scotland currently has an adequate petrol supply to meet normal demand but warned that "panic buying" could put a strain on supply. 

As well as the shortage of HGV drivers, the industry has blamed “panic buying” from consumers for queues at forecourts around the UK.

Discussing the situation on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland radio programme on Monday, Mr Swinney said Brexit was to blame for the lack of drivers.

He said: “There is an adequate supply of fuel to meet normal demand, but it does hinge on being able to distribute that fuel to all locations.

“From my experience of dealing with difficulties about fuel supply in the past, when we had industrial action amongst tanker drivers, supply can run out very quickly because the petrol stations are being replenished with supply on a really very regular basis.”

He added: “In a normal purchasing pattern then, I’m confident there is a distribution arrangement in place that can adequately supply those petrol stations.

“But obviously, if there is an increased demand for fuel, then that will put pressure on the distribution companies in being able to meet that demand in all locations around the country.”

A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “There is a growing network of electric car charging points around the city both on-street, such as at Wilson Street in the Merchant City and within council run multi-storey car parks including Duke Street as well as at strategic locations such as the Emirates Arena.

“The network in Glasgow, as with the rest of the country, is expected to continue to grow in line with demand and with electric car ownership. We are in regular dialogue with partners at Transport Scotland, who provide the network of ChargePlace Scotland chargers.”