Canterbury Taxi Trade Concerns Over Air Quality Action Plan

November 16, 2018

Canterbury City Council is considering basing its licensing fees on road traffic emissions, with taxi drivers operating more environmentally friendly vehicles paying less.

The city council wants to ensure all black cabs and private hire vehicles operating in the Canterbury district are upgraded to the latest Euro 6 emission standards.

Plans to Boost Environmentally Friendly Taxis

The Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) revealed the number of electric and hybrid vehicles registered in Canterbury has almost tripled in two years, with figures rising from 48 in 2014 to 140 in 2016.

Details on the proposed approach have been revealed in the draft AQAP and outline a five-year strategy to reduce air pollution in Canterbury.  The AQAP has identified road traffic emissions as one of the leading causes of high pollution on major roads and states that taxis are partly accountable for this. As a result, the council plan on installing charging points at taxi ranks to encourage drivers to switch to electric or hybrid cars.

Many taxi drivers in the District have voiced their concern over the plans and are worried that about the lack of information on how the council will support the trade through this change.

Canterbury taxi driver, Heather Sewell, said: “Where would the charging points go, and how many would there be? If taxis were electric, you’d have drivers queuing to charge their cars.”

Council Response

“It’s a priority for us to work with drivers and operators to move to lower emission vehicles by 2023.”

City council spokesman, Rob Davies, said: “It’s a priority for us to work with drivers and operators to move to lower emission vehicles by 2023.

“We’ll start reviewing fees for April 2019 to incentivise change and will then work on a renewed taxi policy in 2020 which will consider licensing measures to support this.

“Then, by 2023, we’d hope to have a partnership with the trade to have replaced 90% of diesel vehicles with Euro 6 rating petrol, petrol hybrid and electric vehicles. A recent government announcement that zero emission taxis will be exempt from the vehicle excise duty charge, plus the plug-in taxi grant, will both support this approach.”

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