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TfL urged to INCREASE electric taxi age limits to TWENTY YEARS to help older cabbies

A London taxi representative has called on the capital’s transport regulators to INCREASE taxi age limits to at least TWENTY YEARS for all new electric black cabs.

The current age limit for all new Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) taxis entering the trade sits at 15 years. It is however argued that extending the length of the age limits will help cabbie and fleets make the switch to greener vehicles quicker.

According to Transport for London (TfL), records show there were 18,504 taxis registered in Greater London at the start of the pandemic in April 2020. That number has decreased to just 14,695 and is mainly attributed to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the industry.

The number of newly licensed electric taxis has steadily increased since COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed, however with the high number of vehicles still set to depart the fleet this year, the recovery to pre-covid vehicle levels may be hampered.

Between 1 November 2021 and 31 October 2022, vehicles that are older than 12 years will be ineligible for licensing. TfL’s latest figures, from 31 August 2021, show that 1,228 vehicles will be over 12 years of age and will not be eligible for licensing from 1 November 2021.

Between 1 November 2022 and 31 October 2023, vehicles that are older than 11 years of age will also be ineligible for licensing. TfL’s latest figures show that 474 further licensed vehicles will be 11 years of age and would no longer be eligible for licensing from 1 November 2022 due to taxi age limit requirements.

Grant Davis, London Cab Drivers Club (LCDC) Chairman, said via The Badge: “TfL need to realise that in these uncertain times it is very difficult for older drivers to finance a taxi costing so much to buy or rent, the hours needed in the saddle simply don’t add up for many.

“The LCDC have asked TfL to extend the plate life on a TXe to 20 years at least and any full electric (like a Dynamo) have a lifespan until it can no longer pass a test at a TfL test centre.

“This would help drivers invest longer term and allow a older driver to purchase a new taxi, maybe keep it for ten years and then sell it on and retire, leaving him a taxi with ten years left on its plate, thus giving him a few pounds to help him into his retirement."

Davis added: “Going forwards we need more financial incentives to buy the every expensive greener taxis, and need competition in the market place.

“Transport for London really need to listen to the problems being faced by drivers and again, understand just how ‘WE’ run our business.”


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