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SHAUN BAILEY: Khan has failed to provide taxi drivers the correct EV charging network

Shaun Bailey image credit: Bailey for Mayor

The London Mayor has failed to provide enough infrastructure to allow taxi drivers to charge their electric vehicles (EV), says mayoral candidate.

The Conservative candidate Shaun Bailey accused the current Mayor, Sadiq Khan, of failing to provide the correct network of chargepoints needed to support the fleet, despite ordering the shift to greener taxis in 2018.

Environmentally conscious electric taxi drivers have faced increasingly frustrating battles to charge their vehicles according to a group looking to clamp down on minicabs and other vehicles using designated taxi charging points.

A new Twitter channel to report private hire vehicles and other private cars using the bays has now been established. Drivers on the social media platform are being urged to send in photos and details to @taxis_e who in turn will report to Transport for London (TfL) once a week.

There is also an increasing concern over cab drivers' safety after several incidents where cab drivers have had to exit his or her vehicle to confront drivers misusing the designated bays.

Image: A private hire vehicle blocking access to licensed taxi driver facilities

With the race to become Mayor of London set to end this week, Bailey believes increasing the number of chargers for everyone will diffuse the growing frustrations felt by all EV drivers. Bailey has set out plans to increase the residential EV charging network FIVE-FOLD and bring the total number of rapid-chargers in the capital up to 4,000.

TaxiPoint asked Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey whether the Mayor of London, Transport for London (TfL) and chargepoint providers need to do more to ensure the correct vehicles are using EV taxi bays.

Bailey said: “Here’s the problem. The mayor has encouraged people to drive electric cars without providing the infrastructure needed to support it. So people end up using charging points they’re not supposed to use.

“If there were more residential charging points, then electric-car owners would stop using dedicated charging points for black cabs.

“So as mayor, I will expand the residential charging network fivefold, delivering 48,000 new chargers in partnership with London boroughs.”

Bailey continued by adding: “It’s the same problem we’ve seen with residential charging points. The mayor has told black cab drivers to switch to electric. But he hasn’t provided any support and he's only delivered 500 rapid-charge points. This isn’t nearly enough.

“The best way to make sure black cab drivers can always find a charging point is to increase the number of charging points.

“So as mayor, I’ll bring the total number of rapid-charge points up to 4,000. That way, cab drivers will always be able to find a charging point when they need it.

“And I’ll provide interest-free loans for every cab driver to switch to electric. Helping to clean up our air and support cab drivers at the same time.”

TaxiPoint asked Bailey whether he thought the correct levels of enforcement are currently in place for the designated taxi chargepoints.

Bailey answered: “We can definitely look at more enforcement. I want cab drivers to feel safe when they’re going about their jobs.

“But the best way to make sure cab drivers have access to a charging point is to increase the number of charging points across London.

“That’s why I’m asking cab drivers to vote for me on 6 May and give our city a fresh start. With your readers’ support, I’ll provide the infrastructure needed to support electric vehicles and cut pollution.”


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