North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) are set to introduce subsidised licensing fees for taxis and private hire vehicles that use cleaner greener fuel.
The change to the fees will start from 1 September and will offer cabbies and private hire drivers reduced licensing fees for electric and hybrid vehicles.
The council hopes that the introduction of these lower fees will encourage the use of licensed vehicles which are less harmful to the environment.
Licensing fees could be cut by up to 50%, depending on the type of fuel the vehicle operates on. NHDC are also considering several other environmentally friendly options to improve air quality and tackle climate change which includes:
Supporting the purchase of electric or hybrid hire vehicles
Installing home charging points for hire vehicles
Providing electric charging points near taxi ranks
Introducing ‘no idling’ conditions for taxi ranks
These initiatives from the NHDC Licensing team follow on from the declaration of a Climate Emergency by the Council in May this year. As a result of this declaration, a Cabinet Panel was set up to consider and investigate a range of climate and environmental issues within the local community.
Cllr Gary Grindal, NHDC’s Executive Member for Environmental Health, said: "The Council are looking closely at ways that we can help to combat climate change. Making changes to the licensing for hire vehicles and encouraging cleaner transport on our streets, is one small step that in the long-term, will have a big impact on our local environment. We look forward to working with hackney carriage and private hire vehicle owners to make this happen."