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Oxford say only zero-emission Hackney cabs to get licences from 2025

Oxford City Council has approved new emissions standards for Hackney carriages, which will eventually see only drivers of zero-emission vehicles receiving new licenses from 2025.

The new emission standards were developed in consultation with City of Oxford Licensed Taxi Association (COLTA), with the authority opting for a phased approach between 2020-2025.

The new standards will see the following changes:

  • 1 January 2020: Hackney carriage taxi drivers will be required to have taxis of at least Euro 4 standard to renew their licence; and Euro 4, Euro 6 or zero-emission capable to receive a new licence.
  • 1 January 2022: Hackney carriage taxi drivers will be required to have at least Euro 4 standard to renew their licence, and zero-emission capable vehicles to receive a new licence.
  • 1 January 2025: Hackney carriage taxi drivers will be required to have zero-emission capable vehicles to renew their licence or receive a new licence.

Currently, Oxford’s Hackney Carriage fleet consists of 100% of diesel vehicles – with 51% being older than 15 years, and the six oldest vehicles being 19 years old. Over half of the fleet are Euro standard 3 and lower.

The city council has also approved a change to the vehicle age criteria for the licensing of all new low and ultra-low emission private hire vehicles.

Currently, the maximum age for a new vehicle to obtain a licence is less than five years of age. The amendment will continue this requirement but also adds that they must be a maximum age of seven years for low emission vehicles that produce CO2 emission figures of 110g/km or less.

Cllr Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for environment, Oxfordshire County Council, said: ‘This is the first and a very positive step in our joint vision to implement a zero-emission zone in phases in central Oxford, which will benefit the whole county.

‘As emissions standards are tightened, taxis, buses and other vehicles will become cleaner, as part of our wider transport plan envisaging innovative and sustainable ways to move around Oxfordshire.’

Last month, Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council published their Clean Air Zone proposals for Oxford, which included a U-turn on plans to ban high polluting vehicles from entering Oxford city centre from 2020.

Under new phased plans, all non-zero emission vehicles could be banned from parking and loading during certain hours from 2020, while in a larger zone the requirement will be Euro 6 for buses.

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