Southampton City Council has added stricter new conditions for taxi operators to ensure the city has a clean air compliant fleet by 2023.
Changes will be introduced in two stages, with the first coming into effect on January 1 2020.
No diesel vehicle with an emissions standard of Euro 5 (European emission standard) or lower will be granted a licence on or after January 1 other than by way of licence renewal unless the vehicle has been converted with approved Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) technology.
Also, no diesel vehicle with an emissions standard of Euro 5 or lower will be licensed or relicensed by way of renewal on or after January 1 2022 unless the vehicle has been converted with approved CVRAS technology.
Any vehicle fitted with approved CVRAS technology may be exempt from these conditions subject to the vehicle meeting all other relevant conditions and on production of approved certification.
Cllr Steve Leggett, Cabinet Member for Green City and Environment, said: ‘The need to take urgent, strong action against air pollution is essential. We know people living, working and visiting Southampton share our commitment to improving air quality and reducing pollution across the city.’
The council is also offering financial incentives including grants to encourage owners to upgrade to a low emission vehicle.
Taxi and private hire vehicle owners can apply for up to £3,000 cashback on licensing costs when replacing an eligible older, more polluting vehicle.
They are also installing a rapid charger for taxi and private hire vehicle use in Bitterne (Lances Hill Car Park).
This charger can charge an electric vehicle battery in under 40 minutes and should be used to provide a top-up during the working day.
In June, Southampton City Council has outlined its plans to make Southampton a cleaner, healthier city by launching its Green City Charter.
Among the commitments made in the Green City Charter include a plan for Southampton to be a carbon neutral city by 2030 and a pledge to cut emissions.
The city will also launch a non-charging Clean Air Zone in 2020.
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