October 8, 2019
Cambridge City Council’s licensing committee have voted for all new standard taxis to meet the new low emissions standards. The controversial change is due to take effect in April 2020 despite many taxi drivers and council officers recommending a delay until 2021.
Their decision has been supported by worried residents in the local community, many of whom have signed a petition stating that their “neighbourhood suffers some of the worst air pollution in Cambridge!”
“All new taxis and private hire vehicles should be electric or plug in hybrid from April 2020”
A petition signed by more than 100 residents has been sent to both Cambridge Council and Cambridge City Council Licensing Committee. They state, “we strongly support the policy that all new taxis and private hire vehicles should be electric or plug in hybrid from April 2020 and object to any change or delay to this policy.”
Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy
Part of the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Policy is to ensure all licensed saloon vehicles will be Ultra-low or Zero emission by December 2028 and many believe that April 2020 is far too early to implement this policy. Taxi drivers are already well ahead having dramatically renewed conventional diesel to hybrid vehicles.
There are also growing concerns within the taxi community over the availability of electric vehicles and worries that the specification of EV cars is still in its early stages.
EV Taxis Aren’t the Answer
Taxi drivers and member of the public don’t think that promoting EV taxis is the is the answer to the pollution problem. They think the council have bigger issues such as their diesel vans, lorries and buses plus the thousands of private vehicles polluting the streets.
“Mileage on electric cars was not as good and the infrastructure was not ready.”
Concerns were raised that electric vehicles aren’t suited to all taxi drivers especially those who drive long distances and those who mainly work out of town. The Chair of Cambridge City Licensed Taxis Ltd, Alaur Rahman, stated that “Mileage on electric cars was not as good and the infrastructure was not ready.”
Climate change and air quality issues are high priorities for Cambridge City Council and residents’ groups are worried that streets close to the station are being overrun with taxis and thus creating poorer air quality.
Councillor Kelley Green said: “We have evidence to show that recently there have been numbers approaching 200 deaths per year in Cambridge related to air pollution.”