It appears CAL and The LTDA propose to scrap the turning circle and saddle us with a Taxi capable of a daily range of just 40 miles.

Again, someone from outside the licensed Taxi trade is calling for measures that will greatly affect us financially. CAL has clear a agenda against the use of fossil fuel, but seem to have little knowledge of the technology they propose the Mayor should inflict on Taxi drivers.

Below is a blog post published by Clean Air for London. In the post, point no1 and no2 state:

Require electric or plug-in petrol electric hybrids with a minimum daily range of 40 miles for all newly licensed taxis and PHVs by no later than 1 January 2018.

Could you make a living driving just 40 miles a day?

Point no3 asks for 500 rapid charger stations.

So, if CAL and the LTDA’s proposals were to be accepted and implemented, eventually, we could see a situation where we would have approx 125,000-150,000 Taxis and PHVs vehicles looking to spend 30-40 minutes at a time using 500 charging points.

Has anyone done the maths:

500 charging points offering at best 48 slots of 30 minutes, that 24,000 slots…what about the other 100,000 vehicles?

Even if you were lucky enough to find space on a charging post, a rapid recharge offers just another 32 mile radius.

For this to work would need at least 3,000 rapid charging points and would also mean excluding civilian electric vehicles some left on these plots all day.

Point no7 would even see the system used by the new MetroCab as unsuitable, before it’s even been launched.

Electric vehicles are a strong possibility for the future, but the technology isn’t in place yet. Why should the Taxi trade be made to adopt vehicles which are totally unsuitable and at present are not even available? Has Simon Birkett not read the report on the electric Taxi experiment in Osaka?

Surely a better idea would be to make all the buses electric. Just look at the drop in dangerous emissions when there’s a bus strike.

No mention whatsoever to widely introduce conversion to LPG. There is also no mention of Sweden’s clean deisel, or  Nissans new engine which runs on a mixture of clean diesel and LPG returning reductions of CO2, NO2, NOx and Particle Matter by 83%.

Why is it essential that Taxis be made Guinea Pigs in the trialling of so far untested technology which could prove too expensive for many drivers.

But a question that should be asked is why the LTDA have chosen to back a package that could be just another nail in the trades coffin ?

When Jenny Jones said the GALTransport Committee was in favour of dropping the turning circle from the conditions of fitness, Steve McNamara was at pains to point out the attributes of the continued inclusion of this requirement.

So what happened to make him do a complete Uturn?

…..

Please read the post below and use the comment section to discuss the proposals below from CAL and LTDA.

CAL BLOG POS:

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) and Clean Air in London (CAL) invite the Mayor to commit to an ‘Eight point transformation package’ for the taxi and private hire industry in London for the benefit of current and future generations of Londoners.

The ‘Eight point transformation package’ needed from the Mayor of London:

  1. Require electric or plug-in petrol electric hybrids with a minimum daily range of 40 miles for all newly licensed taxis by no later than 1 January 2018. Consider tyre and brake wear standards.
  1. Require electric or plug-in petrol electric hybrids with a minimum daily range of 40 miles for all newly licensed private hire vehicles (PHVs) with immediate effect (because many such vehicles are available to purchase today). Consider tyre and brake wear standards.
  1. Establish a network of 500 rapid charge points in Greater London by no later than 1 January 2018 for the sole use of taxis with a geographic focus on inner London and air pollution hotspots to encourage visits to them. These must offer at least an 80% charge within 30-40 minutes at modest or no cost to drivers i.e. not two hours.  If this number proves more than necessary for the taxi industry after 12 or 24 months some might then be made available to the general public.
  1. Scrap the 15 year and proposed 10 year age limit requirements on newly licensed taxis with immediate effect.
  1. Scrap the 25 foot turning circle requirement from the ‘Conditions of fitness’ for taxis with immediate effect. Keep the accessibility requirement and other Public Carriage Office requirements.  Confirm that no state aid hurdles restrict funding below.
  1. Establish a fund totalling £150 million offering with immediate effect one-off financial grants of the greater of £10,000 or 100% of the VAT due on the purchase price of a new taxi that meets the requirements above for each of first 15,000 fully compliant taxis purchased. This would be on top of the £5,000 government grant already available for electric vehicles (irrespective of the number of taxi providers).
  1. Undertake never to allow geo-fencing near air pollution monitors, which are used to warn people of smog episodes and report legal breaches, whereby taxis or PHV’s would switch from fossil fuel tailpipe emissions to electric mode near those locations.
  1. Deliver new Vehicle Excise Duty bands and Benefits-in-kind taxation, if necessary initially just for new and used taxis and PHVs, based on the total sum of real world tailpipe emissions (grams per kilometre) of carbon dioxide (CO2), fine particles (PM5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). These changes should be tax neutral overall.  Exhaust emissions must be independently certified.

The ‘Eight point transformation package’ is not an a la carte menu from which the Mayor can pick and choose.  The LTDA and CAL have agreed this list as a ‘total package’.

Quotes

Steve Mcnamara, General Secretary of the Licenced Taxi Drivers Association, said:

“London taxi drivers want to be able to purchase and drive, clean modern taxis. With the right incentives and by working with the trade Boris has the opportunity to ensure that London is the first city in the world to have a taxi fleet comprised exclusively of Zero Emission Capable vehicles.”

Simon Birkett, Founder and Director of Clean Air in London, said:

“After nearly seven years as Mayor, Boris Johnson can no longer blame others for the state of the taxi industry and the 30% of particle emissions he estimates it produces in central London.

“Few people outside the taxi industry realise that the Mayor’s strict Public Carriage Office requirements determine which vehicle(s) a taxi driver can buy and/or drive to do his or her job.  Today, this means drivers must buy one of two large, relatively unaffordable diesel vehicles to compete against Private Hire Vehicles purchased at a fraction of that cost.  The Mayor should turn an onerous obligation into a mechanism for transformation.

“Clean Air in London and the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association are therefore inviting the Mayor the deliver an ‘Eight point transformation package’ for the benefit of current and future generations of Londoners.  The package would:

  1. guarantee service to customers;
  2. limit cost to customers;
  3. minimise environmental impacts;
  4. ensure the financial sustainability of industry participants; and
  5. manage industry change.

“We urge the Mayor to accept this package and put it in place before he leaves office.  Candidates in the 2016 Mayor election must commit to keep and build on it.

“The ‘Eight point transformation package’ is deliverable, financially realistic and good for customers, taxi and PHV drivers and public health.”