Updated: Dec 19, 2019
Taxi driver representatives in London say the UK’s first 24/7 zero emission street will create “apartheid within the trade” if proposals are given the green light.
The City of London Corporation has backed plans to turn Beech Street into a restricted road for only zero emission vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians by Spring 2020.
The plans are pending final approval by Transport for London (TfL).
Taxi representatives United Cabbies Group (UCG) are however concerned about the divide it would create amongst those driving Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) and diesel taxis respectively.
Cabbies driving the recently released LEVC TXE and Nissan Dynamo taxis would be able to use the road which travels under the Barbican.
Taxi drivers who were previously compelled to purchase the diesel taxis by regulators TfL, will however be excluded from Beech Street if they go ahead with the proposals.
Passengers unaware of the differences between ZEC and diesel vehicles, or the exclusions placed on Beech Street, will also be penalised with higher fares and longer journey times.
A United Cabbies Group spokesperson said: "We are seeking an urgent meeting with CoL over their proposal to exclude non ZEC vehicles from Beech St.
“This would create an apartheid within the trade: Yellow Badge, Green Badge and Electric Badge.
“We have contacted other organisation leaders to discuss a united response.”
City of London say that to deliver these changes, vehicles will be rerouted via advance warnings and signage on the approach to the street. Vehicle restrictions will be enforced via automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras, with a penalty charge notice issued to drivers who contravene the experimental traffic order.
As per TfL’s standards for the Cleaner Vehicle Discount for the Congestion Charge, zero emission vehicles will need to comply with all of the following criteria:
Maximum 75 g CO2/km
Minimum 20 mile zero emission range
Euro 6 equivalent NOx emission standard
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