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TfL have taken ‘a number of steps’ to ensure legitimate use of e-taxi chargepoints says Khan

Transport for London (TfL) has taken a number of steps to the ensure the legitimate use of electric taxi chargepoints, says the Mayor of London.

The statement comes after concerns were put to the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, that minicabs incorrectly charging at the black cab bays could be mistaken for licensed taxis by the public.

Conservative London Assembly Member Keith Prince asked the Mayor of London whether he was concerned that private hire drivers abusing dedicated e-taxi chargepoints were giving members of the public the wrong impression that they are taxis plying for hire on taxi ranks.

Sadiq Khan responded: “Taxi-dedicated rapid charge points (RCP) are solely for charging zero emission capable (ZEC) taxis and are entirely different to taxi ranks.

“Further to my previous responses to Mayor’s Questions, Transport for London (TfL) has taken a number of steps to ensure the legitimate use of taxi-only charge points is enforced. This includes increased Operational Officer presence and regular communication with licensees.

“In addition, it is working with RCP providers to explore whether technical solutions are available to ensure taxi-dedicated points can only be used by ZEC taxis.

“London taxis are also purpose-built, are easily distinguishable from private hire vehicles (PHVs) and must meet TfL’s Conditions of Fitness in order to be licensed in London.”

The response comes after it was announced in September 2021 that drivers of London electric taxis will be issued with RFID cards to put an end to illegally parked private hire vehicles and other cars blocking the vital designated rapid chargepoints.

After months of campaigning pushing for the new Rapid Charging Points (RCP) technology to be handed to the taxi trade, exclusive chargepoint access cards are now set to go live imminently.

In September Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), said TfL and chargepoint companies are aiming to have the new cards produced and sent out to drivers for around the start of the New Year.

As it stands, no further details have been released as the planned New Year launch date approaches.

According to sources, two electric taxi RCP providers, BP Pulse and ESB, had agreed to the RFID card technology. Taxi drivers will be asked to subscribe to the companies and only approved taxi drivers will now be able to access designated taxi bays. Contactless payment options will be removed meaning general public and private hire drivers will no longer be able to access the chargepoints.

In London alone nearly 5,000 electric taxi drivers have invested over £200million in Zero Emissions Capable (ZEC) vehicles since January 2018. The problems around designated taxi chargepoint access escalated so much that a new channel to report private hire vehicles and other private cars using the bays was established.

Drivers on the social media platform Twitter sent in photos, videos and details to @taxis_e who in turn sent regular reports to TfL.

In uploaded videos taxi drivers were often verbally abused by other drivers incorrectly using the designated bays. The issuing of RFID cards is now seen as a positive move by charging companies and the transport regulator.

It is hoped the introduction of RFID cards will solve the long-term issue plaguing the taxi industry.


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