Birmingham City Council has announced a new £5,000 grant for Birmingham-licensed hackney carriage drivers wanting to make the move into a cleaner taxi vehicle.
The grant is part of the £15million grants package which is being used to support Birmingham’s hackney carriage and private hire community to prepare for the launch of the Clean Air Zone on 1 June 2021.
Birmingham-licensed hackney carriage drivers can now apply for £5,000 towards the cost of a Euro 4 petrol or Euro 6 diesel taxi (or better), except those eligible for the Government’s plug-in grant, which includes vehicles dating back to approximately 2005 and late 2015 respectively. The Government’s vehicle checker tool can be used to find out if a vehicle will be subject to the daily charge.
Cllr Waseem Zaffar, the council’s cabinet member for transport and the environment, said: “We recognise that like so many, it has been a difficult year for our hackney carriage drivers and we know that they want to be part of the journey to creating a clean air city.
“This new grant will provide them with more options to upgrade or replace vehicles that would otherwise be subject to the daily charge."
In March 2019, the Government provided Birmingham City Council with a total of £7.75million of funding to deliver the hackney carriage support grants, including the £2.5million retrofit fund which will be used to support this new grant option.
The council also received £9million of funding for private hire drivers to apply for grants to upgrade to Euro 4 petrol/ Euro 6 diesel, a ULEZ or hybrid vehicle.
To be eligible for the grant, hackney carriage drivers must have been licensed by Birmingham City Council since 10 September 2018 and be the registered owner/ keeper of a non-compliant vehicle.
Birmingham’s Clean Air Zone will go live on 1 June 2021 and will charge the most high-polluting vehicles to drive within the A4540 Middleway (but not the Middleway itself). Cars, taxis and LGVs (vans) will be charged £8 a day whilst coaches and HGVs will be charged £50 a day.