Electric vehicle drivers incorrectly using taxi-only chargepoint facilities may be unplugging and driving off when enforcement officers become visible, says London Mayor when explaining the low level of Penalty Change Notices (PCN) issued.
In London over 4,000 electric taxi drivers have invested over £200million in Zero Emissions Capable (ZEC) vehicles since January 2018. However, problems surrounding designated taxi chargepoint access has caused anger as private hire vehicles and other private cars illegally using the bays continues to cause confrontational incidents.
London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon asked the London Mayor: “A response to a recent Freedom of Information request to TfL (FOI-0429-2122 A) revealed that only 14 penalty charge notices were issued to vehicles improperly using taxi-dedicated rapid charging points between 03/03/2021 to 30/05/2021.
“Do you consider this level of enforcement sufficient to address the widespread problem of taxi-dedicated rapid charging points being misused?”
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “Further to my responses to (previous) Mayor’s Questions, Transport for London (TfL) has increased enforcement by TfL Operations Officers and Police Community Support Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Roads and Transport Policing Command.
“Where intelligence and feedback shows a high level of misuse at particular taxi-dedicated rapid charge point (RCP) locations by other vehicles, TfL increases patrols at these locations.
“It is important to note that, if the driver is in the vehicle, they may drive off from the bay if they see an officer attending, in which case it is not possible to issue a PCN.”
TfL have delivered a total of 310 RCPs across London, of which 83 are dedicated for taxi-only use.
The capital’s transport regulators recently confirmed that stakeholders and individual licencees have contacted them in relation to some of the taxi-dedicated RCPs being used by vehicles other than zero emission capable (ZEC) taxis. The topic was also discussed at a recent meeting the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Heidi Alexander, had with senior taxi trade representatives.
It is understood that TfL are in discussion with RCP operators to explore technical solutions that could prevent taxi-dedicated RCPs being used by other vehicles.