DRIVERS who park illegally in electric vehicle spaces in East Lothian could be towed under new powers applied for by the local authority.

East Lothian Council is applying for a road traffic order to allow it to regulate its growing collection of spaces for charging electric vehicles across the county.

And included in the new order is the right for police or parking attendants to have any non-electric vehicle towed.

The council says it already has towing powers for vehicles which are parked illegally on roads across the county, although it has never used them in the past.

It is understood that the local authority’s fleet of service vehicles do not include any tow trucks and it is unclear if this will change once the new spaces are introduced.

The new order, which was put out for public consultation, allows for vehicles which are not using the charging bays for their correct purpose to be removed by a parking attendant or police constable in uniform either by “towing or driving the vehicle or in such other manner as he may think necessary to enable him to remove it or alter its position as the case may be”.

A council spokesperson said that applying for the power to tow vehicles was “good practice”.

They said: “Under decriminalised parking enforcement legislation, the council received powers to tow vehicles found to be in breach of traffic regulations.

“In discussions with other parking authorities, it is good practice to include this provision within any traffic orders to underpin the removal of non-electric vehicles in our proposed traffic orders for electric vehicle charging bays.

“This ensures that the legal right to remove non-electric vehicles from such spaces, which we do not currently exercise, is consistently listed and can be enforced at any point in future should the council decide to do so.”