Taxi drivers in Glasgow have set up a petition to urge Scottish Government to allow Low Emission Zone (LEZ) exemptions for taxis until 2027.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Scottish Government declared a climate emergency. Since then many local authorities, including Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow, have aimed to become carbon neutral by 2030.
Steven Grant, the campaign creator of the petition, has suggested that rather than push taxi operators into quick fix diesel upgrades, the Government should allow an exemption to black cabs until 2027. It is argued that cabbies could then find investment for future proof Zero-Emission Capable (ZEC) electric taxis.
Grant said via 38 Degrees: “The taxi trade has been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus crisis. The trade depends greatly on the hospitality, leisure travel and tourism sectors.
“It is no exaggeration to suggest that the future of on demand, fully wheelchair accessible Hackney cab transport is at serious risk.”
The Glasgow based petition, addressed to Michael Matheson the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, is not the first plea for help from cabbies facing financial issues brought on by the pandemic.
Last week hundreds of Manchester taxi drivers took to the streets to protest against imminent licensing changes forcing them too into ZEC vehicles.
Cabbies in Greater Manchester are also concerned that the costs involved to change their cabs to ‘greener’ vehicles will push some drivers out of the industry.