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Taxi trade and TfL discuss six-point driver policy and support for ongoing electric taxi grant

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

The taxi trade and TfL discussed the controversial six-point driver policy and the support required to maintain ongoing electric taxi grant supplied by the Government.

In a quarterly senior trade reps meeting, Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA), highlighted the need to re-evaluate the impact of the driver policy and reconsideration hearings on taxi drivers. McNamara also called for government support to extend the funding for the Plug-In Taxi Grant (PiTG) beyond April 2024.

The discussions were held with Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, and Transport Commissioner, Andy Lord. McNamara expressed concerns about the detrimental effect that current driver policies are having on numerous LTDA members. He hoped that revisiting these policies would help protect their licences and provide a more favourable environment for taxi drivers.

"The positive thing coming out of that meeting was a commitment to look again at how the driver policy is being applied and the damage it is doing to so many of our members, as well as looking at the changes to the way reconsideration hearings work, which have made it that much harder for us to successfully challenge licensing decisions and protect members' licenses," said McNamara.

Furthermore, McNamara sought assistance from TfL to urge the Government to extend the PiTG beyond April 2024. The grant has been crucial in helping taxi drivers purchase new zero-emission cabs, which are becoming more and more expensive.

"The grant doesn't go to cabbies, but it is taken off the price of the cab, meaning that without it, cabbies would have to part with more of their hard-earned cash, and the TX would become more expensive to purchase. This wouldn't be good for anyone," McNamara explained in TAXI Newspaper.

The LTDA has long been consistent in its call for the Treasury to maintain the grant at the current level. They have also emphasised the need to consider the VAT treatment of wheelchair-accessible taxis. The Association has provided evidence to the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles to demonstrate the significance of the grant in achieving the notable milestone of having over 50% of the London taxi fleet comprised of zero-emission capable vehicles.

Since its introduction, the Plug-In Taxi Grant (PiTG) has been instrumental in facilitating the adoption of zero-emission capable (ZEC) taxis. The scheme aims to bridge the cost gap between vehicles powered by internal combustion engines and newer ultra-low emission technologies.

Transport ministers previously extended the PiTG scheme until the financial year 2023/24 for new electric taxis. However, no further information has been released regarding the extension of the scheme beyond April 2024.

The current PiTG scheme offers a discount on eligible purpose-built taxis of up to £7,500 or £3,000, depending on the vehicle's range, emissions, and design. It is available to all taxi drivers and businesses seeking to purchase or lease a new purpose-built taxi.


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