THE council wants to introduce a parking charge for electric car drivers to stop motorists taking advantage of free all day parking.

Herefordshire Council do not charge for people to park and charge their electric cars, despite it costing the council £1,000 in electricity for the tax year 2015/16.

But in a council report it said due to the increased number of electric cars now on the road and people taking advantage of the free parking points, motorists have been finding it difficult to find a charge point to use.

The report proposes introducing normal parking charges for electric bay points with a maximum stay of up to four hours.

Since 2013 the number of plug-in electric charging vehicles registered in the UK has increased significantly from 3,500 in 2013 to almost 78,000 by October 2016.

The council report said: "This demand for access to charging points has also increased in Herefordshire (653 charging sessions in 2014/15 to 2,062 in 2015/16).

"This increase has brought to light a number of problems associated with the parking arrangements at certain charge points and in recent months we have received six complaints from EV drivers having problems accessing charge points when they need to recharge.

"As many people don’t complain it is likely that the number of EV drivers unable to access a charge point is higher."

There are 12 electric vehicle charging points in the county.

The report said: "Offering free car parking to electric vehicles whilst charging can incentivise commuters to park in the charging spaces all day primarily in order to get the free car parking.

"An indication of this happening is at Venn’s Close car park in Hereford where the time spent on charge is high but the amount of current drawn during that time is low.

"At Garrick multi-storey car park there have been complaints about electric vehicles parking all day in the charge point bays."

The decision will be made by the cabinet member transport and roads, Paul Rone.