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‘FRESH START’: Interest free loans and sponsored £6,000 grants for taxi drivers key to Bailey’s plan

Photo Credit: Parsons Media

Interest free loans and sponsored £6,000 grants for taxi drivers moving to electric vehicles were announced in the London Mayoral candidate’s new ‘Fresh Start’ plans for the capital.

Shaun Bailey, Conservative candidate in the forthcoming Mayor of London elections, announced several key points he plans to deliver on to provide the capital with a ‘Fresh Start’.

A key part of Bailey’s plans will be to offer interest-free loans to every single taxi driver with a diesel black cab in London to help them move over to modern electric vehicles.

This equates to 15,000 cabbies getting financial support equal to 10% of the total value of the new zero-emission taxi in order to incentivise rapid uptake and ensure that all taxis will be electric by the end of Shaun’s first term.

The plans would see just under £6,000 handed to every taxi driver, which would be funded through a new ten-year sponsorship deal running along similar lines to the Santander cycle-hire scheme. Santander contracted to TfL in 2015 for £44m over seven years, which equates to £6.3m per year. A similar deal for London’s cabs would be for £84m over ten years, equating to £8.4m per year.

According to the Mayoral candidate, moving all current black cabs to zero-emission by the end of Shaun’s first term is equivalent to removing one million diesel cars from London’s roads.

Bailey’s ‘Fresh Start’ plans also include:

  1. Making our streets safer - by hiring 8,000 more police and reopening 38 police stations.

  2. Helping young people get out of crime - with 32 new youth centres and 4,000 new youth workers.

  3. Getting young Londoners on the housing ladder - by building 100,000 homes and selling them for £100,000 each.

  4. Cleaning up London’s air - with a zero-emission bus fleet by 2025 and interest-free loans for black cab drivers to go electric.

  5. Fixing TfL’s finances - by introducing corporate sponsorship to the tube network, to protect free travel for the under-18s and over-60s.

  6. A bigger, better transport network — with a London Infrastructure Bank that will fund major projects like Hammersmith Bridge repairs, Crossrail 2 and tube upgrades.

  7. Reversing the congestion charge hike — and scrapping plans to extend the £12.50 daily ULEZ charge to outer London.

  8. Saving every London household £307 — by reversing Sadiq Khan’s 10% council tax hike.

  9. Standing up for outer boroughs — by scrapping Sadiq Khan’s plans to charge people £5.50 to drive into outer London and by introducing 30 minutes’ free parking for outer boroughs.

  10. Working constructively with government — Shaun will work effectively with Ministers to get a better deal for London and will always take responsibility for London’s problems.

Under Shaun Bailey’s Fresh Start plan it is hoped 924,000 jobs will be created in London over the next five years.

Shaun Bailey, Conservative Candidate for London Mayor, said: “London is the greatest city on earth. But we’re not living up to our potential. Over the last five years, ordinary Londoners have started to feel like our city just isn’t working for them.

“Knife crime has hit record highs. Good homes are unaffordable. Our transport network is struggling to cope. And the cost of living keeps rising.

“London needs a fresh start. And I’ve got a plan to deliver it.

“I’ll work with residents in every community to make our streets safer, help first-time buyers on the housing ladder, fix our broken transport network and cut the cost of living.”

Photo Credit: Parsons Media

Zac Goldsmith, Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment, said: "The past year has demonstrated the importance people attach to being able to live in a clean, healthy environment. So I’m proud to back Shaun Bailey’s plan to give London a fresh start.

“Shaun’s plan to introduce a zero-emission bus fleet will help clean up the air every Londoner breathes. And his plan to help black cabs go electric will take the equivalent of 1 million diesel cars off London’s roads.

“These are sensible, realistic plans that can start making a difference on day one.”

Supporting the ‘Fresh Start’ campaign the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, said: “There’s no denying the impact that coronavirus has had on transport systems across the country, as the British people heeded the necessary call to stay at home.

“But in London, years of mismanagement under Sadiq Khan have left the Capital’s system unable to cope with these challenges. Debt has risen, projects like Crossrail have repeatedly been delayed and millions of pounds have been wasted on the Mayor’s pet projects.

“Because of the Mayor’s actions Londoners now face cuts to vital services, making it so much harder for the capital to get back on its feet once the pandemic is over.

“Now the U.K. Government has twice stepped in already to keep TfL running with £3.4 billion committed so far. But these short term fixes will only get us so far. We need a Mayor who will put London’s transport system on a sustainable footing.

“And rather than securing political points, Shaun Bailey will work with the Government to fix TfL’s finances. Shaun will deliver those much needed, delayed projects like Crossrail and he will invest in a zero emissions bus fleet so that the air Londoners breathe is cleaner and healthier.

“There’s a clear choice this year, three more years where the cost of Khan is put on Londoners, or a fresh start with Shaun Bailey - who has a plan to get London moving.”

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