Nottingham’s taxis are going to be safer, greener, and customer feedback focused, according to the new strategy launched by the City Council today.
Hackney carriages and private hire taxis will have to comply with clean, low carbon standards as part of the ten point plan included in the 2017-2020 strategy.
In June 2015, the council submitted a bid to the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) for the Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) Taxi Scheme Fund, which has granted Nottingham £20 million.
Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Business, Growth and Transport, said: “This is a plan to modernise the taxi services in the city and to make sure that they play their part in delivering a modern and effective transport option. This means getting on board with cleaner, low carbon vehicles, better customer service and ensuring that the taxis and their drivers adhere to strictly controlled standards.
“We will not issue licenses for diesel vehicles older than 5 years and by 2025 all Hackney carriages will have to comply with clean, low carbon standards. This is really important to improve Nottingham’s air quality. At present none of the Hackney cabs meet the Euro 6 emission standard and 82% of the private hire cars are either petrol or diesel powered.”
“we ALL WANT TO SAVE THE WORLD FROM HARMFUL EMISSIONS” – Nirman Singh Takpaul
Plans include spending £1.3m on creating charging points across the city so that 200 Hackney and 350 private hire vehicles will run as low-emission vehicles such as electric cars.
The policy requires that all Hackney carriages are ULEV by 2025, with a minimum of 40 per cent being ULEV by 2020.
The crack down on licensing means that any diesel vehicles that are over five years old will not receive a license.
The city centre will also introduce a clean air zone that will charge for access for vehicles that do not meet stringent low emission standards.
Nottingham hackney taxi driver Nirman Singh Takpaul, 63, said: “I am 100 per cent with it, this is good for the younger generation, but we all want to save the world from harmful emissions.
He added: “The low emission future is very good, but how am I supposed to come up with £15,000 for an electric car.”
The new fleet will run on an ‘Uber-style’ system, allowing customers to choose the most suitable driver through rating based feedback.
Paul Green, 42, of Balmoral Avenue, said: “I used to live in London and used Uber services quite a lot, I am excited for this new system.”
Megan Bowker, 25, of Mansfield Road, said: “I’m not sure about all the changes because it might make my taxi fare more expensive.”
The strategy supports the ongoing Go Ultra Low scheme aiming to introduce 8,000 new electric and hybrid vehicles to Nottingham’s roads.
The council still needs to find £300,000 to develop charging points across the city for the new electric taxis, with the aim of 40 per cent of Hackney carriages being ULEV by 2020.