The owner of an electric car at the centre of a row over power cables trailing along pavements has been told the practice is “dangerous and illegal” by Kirklees Council.

The local authority has spoken to the Slaithwaite man who has been charging his petrol/electric hybrid at home using extension cables trailing around 30ft down the pavement.

A neighbour has questioned the safety of the practice and now the council has told the Examiner that the car owner could face ‘formal action’.

A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “The council is very supportive of the use of electric vehicles because of their environmental benefits.

A neighbour has questioned the safety of this trailing charging cable on a road in Slaithwaite

“We have been made aware of the situation and have spoken to the resident concerned, informing him that what he is doing is both dangerous and illegal as he is causing not only an obstruction but a health and safety risk on the highway.

“He has been asked to stop this practice and we hope that this matter can be resolved amicably and informally without the need for formal action.”

As previously reported, neighbour Trevor Wood raised safety concerns about the trailing cables and others have now added their concerns.

Electrician James Macdonald said on Twitter: “As a qualified electrician this is a serious hazard.

“Apart from the trip hazard my main concern is the risk of fire with the three extensions plugged in together, let alone the risk of kids being electrocuted.”

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But reader Adrian Hawley said: “So long as people watch where they are walking it’s not really an issue. Many streets will become like this in years to come where residents don’t have off-street parking.”

A former car sales manager, who asked not to be named, says that extension cables should not be used in such circumstances.

“I have had extensive training with electric cars over the last five years,” he said. “All electric car manufacturers expressly state an extension cable should never be used as it constitutes a fire risk.

Charging cable from an electric car to a house in Slaithwaite

“The image (published in the Examiner) shows at least two which appear to be standard domestic units and also unprotected against water.

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“Electric cars draw a high current to charge and the manufacturers’ instructions should be taken seriously.

“The length of the cable will add to the risk which is why manufacturer-approved charging units are short in length.”

Earlier this week the owner of the electric car, who asked not to be named, said he used anti-trip mats and a yellow warning sign whenever charging takes place at his home.

He said it was not always possible to park right outside his house.

Today, when informed of the council’s statement, he declined to comment further.