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Lichfield's Green Drive: Councillor proposes move to increase taxi age limits for electric investment

Image credit: LEVC

In a move aimed at reducing environmental impact, Lib Dem Councillor Paul Ray has called for significant changes to taxi regulations in Lichfield and Burntwood.

Speaking at a recent Lichfield District Council meeting, Cllr Ray advocated for the extension of taxi vehicle age limits to facilitate the transition to electric and hybrid models.

Highlighting the need for a greener transport network, Ray urged the council to adopt more ambitious policies, akin to London's mandate for all taxis to eliminate the use of diesel and petrol by 2033. The current stipulation requires taxis to be replaced after a specific period, but Ray suggests that better incentives could encourage taxi operators to switch to cleaner energy vehicles sooner.

According to Lichfield Live, the councillor highlighted the benefits of extending the life expectancy of taxis, noting that in London, the licensing age limit currently sits at fifteen years for zero emission capable cabs. In Lichfield this limit currently sits at just 7 years. This change, Ray argues, would allow taxi drivers who invest in modern, eco-friendly vehicles to recoup their costs over a more extended period, benefiting both the community and the environment.

The backdrop to this proposal includes a growing recognition of the economic and environmental challenges facing the taxi industry. Reports from TaxiPoint have documented the ongoing discussions around taxi age limits since Autumn 2023, highlighting the importance of long-term sustainability and the promotion of zero-emission vehicles.

Despite expectations that electric vehicle (EV) costs would decrease due to technological advancements, unforeseen global events have led to increased living costs and inflated EV prices.

Last year, the Department for Transport (DfT) updated its guidance to licensing authorities, which included the recommendation to remove age restrictions for taxi vehicles. The DfT emphasises evaluating vehicles on their compliance with environmental standards rather than their age, aiming to lower the financial hurdles for taxi operators transitioning to electric vehicles.


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