As you would have seen on the front page (of this months LCDC Badge), the London Assemby and Transport for London have once more turned their attentions to the age limits that were imposed onto the licensed taxi trade a couple of years ago.
It seems that once again TfL have chosen the taxi trade as the whipping boys. According to TfL, taxis are responsible for a significant contribution to London’s toxic air qualitywith the trade being blamed for 16% NOX and 26% of PMs.
When one considers the number of buses, lorries, vans and finally four times the number of Private Hire vehicles than taxis driving in the capital, then surely one must question the validity of such figures?
“The 15-year age limit for taxis was introduced as part of the drive to tackle London’s air quality crisis. Diesel black cabs make a significant contribution to the city’s toxic air. Urgent action is needed to reduce the pollution they cause” Helen Chapman The stick which Transport for London and the London Assembly are seemingly using to beat us is the statement made by Steve McNamara in his submission to the Ultra-Low Emission Zone consultation, see below: “The LTDA suggested that many vehicle owners would choose to move to ZEC taxis at an accelerated rate and that the existing diesel taxis would be seen as an undesirable vehicle to own and Operate. Therefore without a compulsory age limit but with purchase grants there would be a removal of diesel taxis across all age categories and the associated emissions benefits would be compounded by the benefits of adding ZECs to the fleet. In their place the LTDA suggest there could be 9,000 ZEC taxis in the fleet by the end of 2020.” It is incredible to think that TFL can use the totally illogical optimistic statement above as a means to justify the cab trade accepting a whole new range of age limits for our vehicles. Only last month we attended a meeting with LEVC, who find the same problem when dealing with TFL, and say that TFL constantly quote the 9,000 vehicles and even they admit that with the best will in the world they just could not produce this amount of TX vehicles on that time frame. What Transport for London should be addressing is the plethora of false promises they had made to us during all the ULEZ meetings and consultations. For instance, we were promised that we would have a choice of five taxis and that you would be literally tripping over the charge points throughout the capital etc etc etc Once again and not for the first time, Transport for London is incapable of administrating the transport needs of this City.