Updated: Sep 6, 2020
The Mayor of London and transport officials will be asked what more they can do to support taxi drivers who have invested heavily to make the capital’s air cleaner.
In a City Hall meeting set to take place on Thursday 10 September, members of the London Assembly will grill Sadiq Khan (Mayor of London and Chair of TfL), Heidi Alexander (Deputy Mayor for Transport) and Simon Kilonback (TfL Chief Finance Officer) on matters associated with Transport for London’s (TfL) ailing finances.
As part of the session, written questions have been put forward to be answered by 15 September. One of those questions asks what more can be done to support taxi drivers who were urged to invest in electric taxis prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2018 London’s licensed taxis have invested nearly £200million into 3,500 zero-emission vehicles to clean up the capital’s poor air quality as requested by the Mayor of London.
Despite the investment there has however been anger from the industry around road access. Taxi drivers, both in diesel and electric cabs, will be banned from using the bus gates in the city, forcing passengers to pay far higher metered fares and increase journey times.
Murad Qureshi, London Assembly Member, has asked: “TfL rightly encouraged cabbies to buy electric cabs to help improve air pollution in London. At a cost of £65,000 for each cab, what assistance is being offered to them during the COVID-19 crisis?”