A 'clean air charge' could be arriving in Newcastle for vehicles, including taxis and private hire, which potentially could cost drivers thousands each year.
Newcastle City Council is under pressure from government to think of ways to cut pollution in city hotspots. The fee proposed is thought to be around £12.50 a day and applicable to diesel vehicles registered before September 2015 and petrol cars older than 2006 respectively. Taxi drivers received a letter from Newcastle Councillor and Transport and Air Quality Cabinet Member Arlene Ainsley detailing the potential plans. Disgruntled cabbies have since started a petition against the charge as drivers were told it was “unlikely” that cabbies would be exempt. A spokesperson behind the petition said: “Taxi and private hire are already struggling to make a living in Newcastle will then be expected to pay a further £350+ per month. This cannot be justified and fares will increase. The public will, therefore, pay for the increase in fares.” The Newcastle Hackney Carriage Drivers Association are asking all drivers to sign up to the petition to put a stop to the new tax.