A consultation is taking place over plans to replace Reading’s Hackney Carriage taxi fleet to newer and less polluting vehicles.
At present all Hackney Carriage taxis operating in the city have to meet Euro 3 emission standards or better to receive a licence. This places a limit on the amount of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) that they emit
Since 2013, as well as including meeting Euro 3 standards, no hackney carriage can be more than 20 years old, and no vehicles are licenced for the first time if they are more than 15 years old.
The authority’s proposals aim to introduce a new age limit of 15 years for the Hackney Carriage taxi fleet.
The timetable includes:
- All Hackney Carriage vehicles to be Euro 4 or equivalent by October 1 2018.
- All Hackney Carriage vehicles to be Euro 5 or equivalent by October 1 2021.
- No Euro 5 or 6 Hackney Carriage taxis permitted to be over 15-years-old.
Councillor Paul Gittings, lead for consumer services, said: “It is clear that we need to take action to address the problem of poor air quality in Reading and that transport, including Reading’s hackney carriages, needs to play a role.
“To help cab owners get better placed to plan and finance their vehicle replacements, Reading Taxi Association has requested a set of target dates indicating when any new emissions standards and new vehicle age policy might commence.
“Hopefully, by setting achievable goals and agreeing on a manageable timetable for change, we can work together with Reading Taxi Association to improve the area’s air quality.”
Last week the European Commission unveiled proposals to commit to a low-emission transport policy across the continent.
This announcement could pave the way for EU-wide measures on low and zero-emission vehicles and alternative low-emission fuels, according to the Commission, and is a part of wider work on decarbonisation (See airqualitynews.com story).