Many people travelling into London everyday will know about the poor air quality they are met with on a daily bases. Now, three councils in central London are hoping that the Mayor of London will ban the use of taxis in the city that are over 10 years old. This should then reduce pollution improve the air quality.
This plea has come from Camden Council, City of Westminster and City of London and they have written a letter urging Boris Johnson to review the age limit for black taxis which is currently 15 years and reduce it to 10 years.
Within the letter the councils have asked for funding and grants that will help taxi drivers upgrade their vehicles.
A spokesperson from the Camden Council has said that pollution emitted from the taxi cabs “accounts for 20 per cent of the tiny, yet dangerous particles from vehicle sources in the air in the Borough of Camden. These particulates known as particulate matter can cause serious health problems as they can travel deep into the lungs and cause inflammation which can lead to respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.”
A member of London’s Licensed Taxi Drivers Association has said that he didn’t expect any change to take place as the 15 year age limit had only just come into place. He has however warned that a 10 year limit “would cripple the trade” as cabbies would have to keep financing for new vehicles.
The Councils do want TfL and the Mayor to help the taxi drivers and give them incentives to help keep the air cleaner and grants to get new vehicles is one of the options they suggest.
However with newer vehicles there are also added costs, such as taxi insurance which can be more expensive the newer the vehicle.
Councillor Phil Jones has said, “We need to focus on the worst polluters and our evidence suggests that black cabs account for a significant concentration of dangerous particles from vehicle sources in the air in Camden. It the Mayor and TfL are serious about improving air quality they should be offering incentives and assistance to London cab drivers to help them reduce pollution while keeping the capital moving.”