BOURNEMOUTH council should become a "champion" for electric vehicles, a senior councillor says.

Councillor Mike Greene, cabinet member for transport, said the move would likely prove difficult but would help to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses in the borough.

Cllr Greene has previously spoken of the need to reduce the reliance on cars in Bournemouth to reduce congestion on roads and cut emissions, and the council's promotion of alternative means of travel such as buses and bicycles and, most recently, a light railway proposal.

In a report to the council's environment and economy scrutiny committee he says: "I have long been a fan of the concept as a means to reducing local emissions and it seems to me that we have just reached the tipping point where technology and cost have made the concept a reality.

"Bournemouth council hosted a hugely successful conference on EVs in July and I am very keen to see the town establish itself as an EV champion.

"This will be a difficult task and may well require some decisions which Sir Humphrey would probably describe as 'courageous', but I am sure will prove worthwhile.

"These are likely to involve our planning services as much as our transport services and officers and I have started to explore options."

According to the council's 'green credentials' report, which will be considered by the scrutiny panel on Tuesday next week, Bournemouth is the only area in the UK to be compliant this year with the requirements of the Compact of Mayors agreement on emissions restriction.

Last year the borough was one of only three areas in the UK to be compliant.

The council says it has achieved an initial carbon dioxide emissions reduction from its own operations by 34 per cent three years early, and a year ago a new target was introduced of 42 per cent.

Cllr Greene said: "When we increased our carbon reduction target to 42 per cent by 2020 we recognised that this was ambitious, and we would have to raise our game to meet it.

"This report confirms that we are on track and, even though significant challenges remain, I am confident we will do so."

He said efforts to improve energy efficiency in council housing stock were a significant contribution.

"Reducing the financial demands on our council tenants by improving the energy efficiency of their homes is the ideal way to help our residents while helping the environment too, and I am keen to see further investment in that area," he said.