Updated: Apr 27
Oxford City Council have introduced bold new licensing measures welcomed by taxi drivers in the area during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The council will relax new incoming Zero Emission Zone rules allowing taxi drivers with existing LTI TX1 taxis to become exempted from the scheme. Cabbies will be able to make a written request to the licensing authority for an exemption when renewing their vehicle's licence, which can last for up to 12 months.
Taxi drivers in Oxford were required to change to a minimum of a Euro 4 standard vehicle this year, but due to the financial effects of COVID-19 owners can now request the exemption.
Further help was supplied in the form of licence payment deferrals. Anyone who has either a driver or vehicle licence due to expire before 30 June 2020, may request a deferral postponement of payment until the 1 October 2020. Licences will be issued until 1 October and then extended for the full duration upon receipt of payment.
Sajad Khan, Secretary of City of Oxford Licensed Taxi Association (COLTA), said: “The taxi trade up and down the country is going through very challenging times.
“Here in Oxford, our union has been in close communication with our licensing authority throughout this pandemic.
“Our members are very grateful for their involvement and the decision they have taken to assist the trade during these times of hardship.”
An Oxford City Council spokesperson wrote on the council’s website: “As the current situation with the Covid-19 outbreak continues to develop, the council is constantly keeping the matter under review, following government advice and looking at its own business continuity arrangements to ensure we can continue to deliver the service and to enable firms, vehicles and drivers to continue providing vital public transport where it is safe to do so.”