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GLASGOW TAXI CRISIS: Stark reality of DESPERATE black cab fleet problems laid bare

The stark reality of a CRITICAL black cab industry problem was laid bare by taxi representatives as the trade PLEADS with councillors to listen to concerns.

Fresh after nearly two-years of low-demand during the coronavirus pandemic, there are now growing worries from Glasgow’s taxi drivers that their fleet could be DECIMATED by around 1,000 black cabs should the city’s council take no action.

Unite Union Glasgow Cab Section have expressed concerns that they could see around 1,000 iconic taxi vehicles removed from the streets for being non-compliant with new Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) rules coming in next year.

Taxi representatives have released a video detailing the level of damage the reduction of cabs could cause the local community. The ‘Black Cab Blackout’ could mean less wheelchair accessible vehicles available to the public and less coverage to serve businesses and the hospitality sector.

In a series of tweets sent today, officials from Unite detailed the stark reality should Glasgow City Council do nothing to address the problem.

Of the 1,420 taxis licensed by Glasgow City Council, around 1,000 do not meet strict new emissions criteria set for June 2023.

Unite Union Glasgow Cab Section are calling for councillors to make black cabs exempt from the scheme until 2027 to allow the sector to recover sufficiently from the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently, the new vehicles available to Glasgow taxi drivers includes the £60,000 LEVC TX. The popular Mercedes-Benz Vito Euro 6 diesel taxi is no longer being manufactured, nor is the Ford Procab Euro 6 diesel taxi.

The used taxi market has also been hit. EURO 5 cabs required for retrofit EURO 6 upgrades are now harder to come by due to shortages elsewhere in the UK market. Unite representatives say its usually reliable supply chain of used black cabs from London has ‘disappeared’ due to a shortages of licensed vehicles in the capital.

Officials from Unite say there are also issues finding recognised retrofit specialist garages for the Euro 5 Peugeot E7 and Mercedes Vito taxis to carry out the work required should a rare vehicle be sourced.

Unite Cab Section say they have written to all 85 Glasgow councillors asking for Low Emission Zone (LEZ) exemption, but have had no contact back from Glasgow Labour Group. Glasgow Conservatives have provided its backing to the exemption.

There are now grave concerns around the future viability of the taxi industry in Glasgow if the taxi industry is not allowed time to re-built the sector post pandemic.


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