Updated: Jun 6, 2021
Transport for London (TfL) are in discussions with Rapid Chargepoint (RCP) operators to determine what more can be done to ensure taxi-dedicated charging bays are only being used by electric taxis, says Mayor of London.
The news follows reports of several incidents where drivers of electric taxis are being increasingly forced to engage in heated discussions with licensed minicab drivers and other motorists incorrectly using designated licensed taxi chargepoints.
According to taxi drivers, the problem has become so bad they have called on the capital’s transport authority and chargepoint providers to sort out the issue before ‘it ends up in fights’.
Caroline Pidgeon asked the London Mayor via a written question: “Is TfL taking any further steps to improve compliance in electric vehicle bays allocated solely to taxis?”
Sadiq Khan said: “Yes. TfL has also increased compliance activity at taxi-dedicated rapid charge point locations where intelligence has been provided that they are being used by other vehicles.
“Taxi trade representatives and individual licensees have been providing helpful information on the use of taxi-dedicated RCPs by other vehicles and I would urge them to continue to do so.”
Assembly Member Pidgeon also asked the Mayor in a separate question to set out specific reasons why TfL decided against utilising CCTV enforcement for taxi only rapid charging bays despite being suggested as a policy option in back in 2019.
Khan responded: “TfL has delivered 310 Rapid Charge Points (RCPs), with 83 of these dedicated for taxi-only use.
“TfL regularly issues communications to licensees reminding them that the taxi-dedicated RCPs are for Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) taxis only and that anyone found using the bay illegally could be subject to a penalty charge notice.
“At the time of responding to Mayor’s Question (in 2019), TfL explored the feasibility of using existing CCTV infrastructure to support enforcement of taxi dedicated RCPs. However, the exploratory work found that none of the taxi dedicated RCPs were located within line of sight of a CCTV camera.
“I have asked TfL to update this work to determine whether any recently installed taxi dedicated RCPs, particularly those where there are reports of illegal use, are feasible for CCTV enforcement.
“I am aware that TfL is in discussion with RCP operators to determine what more can be done to ensure taxi-dedicated RCPs are only be used by ZEC taxis.”
In London alone over 4,000 electric taxi drivers have invested over £200million in Zero Emissions Capable (ZEC) vehicles since January 2018. The problem around designated taxi chargepoint access has escalated so much that a new channel to report private hire vehicles and other private cars using the bays has now been established.
Drivers on the social media platform Twitter are being urged to send in photos and details to @taxis_e who in turn will report to Transport for London (TfL) once a week.
Specialist EV parking management firms now exist to resolve the issue of ‘ICEd’ electric vehicle (EV) charging bays. ICEd is the term given when an internal combustion engine car is parked in an electric vehicle only bay blocking access to legitimate vehicles.
The enforcement firms use their own ANPR cameras to monitor the use of marked EV charging bays and issue Parking Charge Notices to drivers/keepers of vehicles parked in these allocated bays.