January 9, 2018
There have been some concerns from taxi drivers that they could lose their business when the Southampton Clean Air Zone is introduced in 2019. Southampton City Council have made a £250,000 fund available to help taxi drivers invest in environmentally eco-friendly cabs before the initiative is launched. Taxi drivers are one of the first groups to receive assistance from the council.
It is hoped that the new Clean Air Zone measures will bring a greener and more sustainable taxi fleet in the city.
Eco-Friendly Cab Grants
There will be a grant of between £1,500 to £3,000 for investing in a qualifying vehicle. The smaller amounts will be set aside for hybrid and low emission conventionally powered vehicles, customers who purchase electric cars will qualify for the full amount. Drivers must have been licensed by the council for at least a year and driven over 8,000 miles to qualify for the funding. The funding will hope to counter concerns from the taxi trade that they will be priced out of the city and that environmentally friendly vehicles are too expensive.
Clean Air Zone to Reduce Pollution Related Deaths
The scheme follows an earlier consultation where taxi drivers were asked by civic leaders on how they could be supported for the launch of the Clean Air Zone. The survey identified that 59% of taxi drivers in the area would choose a hybrid car if they were to embrace the eco revolution. Health service surveys claim that a high level of pollutants cause thousands of premature deaths every year, Southampton is considered to account for 110 of that total. It is hoped that the new Clean Air Zone measures will bring a greener and more sustainable taxi fleet in the city.