TfL and City Hall meet to discuss minicab Congestion Charging and new ZEC vehicle requirements

Key topics including Congestion Charging, ZEC vehicle requirements and operator fees were all covered in meetings held yesterday with City Hall and the Transport Commissioner.

The two separate meetings involved the Deputy London Mayor for Transport Heidi Alexander and Transport for London (TfL) Commissioner Mike Brown, and were attended by representatives from the Licensed Private Hire Car Association (LPHCA).

According to a LPHCA spokesperson, the minicab industry reps spoke to Mike Brown, along with some of his TfL senior officials, on the subject of the increased operator fees structure and the removal of the minicab Congestion Charge exemption in the capital.

In July, the High Court ruled that London’s minicab drivers MUST continue to pay the capital’s Congestion Charge, despite the Independent Workers Union (IWGB) claiming that the charge does "serious harm" to black and ethnic minority (BAME) drivers. 

Mr Justice Lewis said at the time that the decision to remove the exemption for minicab drivers was “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim, namely the reduction of traffic and congestion within the congestion charge zone without reducing the number of designated wheelchair-accessible vehicles".

In the second meeting of the day, this time involving Sadiq Khan’s transport deputy, representatives discussed the the Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) vehicle requirements set to come in from 1 January 2020.

All new private hire vehicles (PHV) less than 18 months old and licensed for the first time will have to be zero emission capable come 1 January 2020. PHVs over 18 months old will need to have a Euro 6 engine when licensed for the first time.

From 1 January 2023 all PHV’s (of any age) will then need to be zero emission capable when licensed for the first time. This move comes five years AFTER the same requirements became mandatory for the licensed taxi industry.

According to a LPHCA spokesperson “it's been widely reported that these measures will make air quality worse as the decision to ban self-charging hybrids actually comprises fuel economy and we are campaigning for a fairer, more environmentally friendly policy that the trade can work to".

Image credit: Pexels

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