A DRIVE to make taxis in Redditch more eco-friendly has been launched by the borough council.
The move is part of a broader agenda to ‘green’ the town in the run-up to the nationwide ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars in 2030, a mere ten years away.
Currently Hackney Carriage and private hire taxis are only judged by the borough council on age with no incentive for companies to adopt environmentally friendly vehicles.
However at Monday’s Licencing Committee councillors unanimously passed a measure to formulate a new policy to encourage greener vehicles.
Committee chair Coun Salman Akbar said: “We are absolutely committed to make Redditch a greener and carbon neutral town in line with the climate emergency declared by the council.”
Councillor Anthony Lovell, portfolio holder for Climate Change added: “It has been a challenging year with Covid-19, but the problem of climate change doesn’t go away and that’s why important we keep pressing ahead with our vision for carbon neutral Redditch as soon as possible.”
Council Leader Coun Matt Dormer said: “Currently you cannot introduce a taxi into your fleet if it’s above a certain age.
“The age of a vehicle isn’t always the best measure and there is a danger that the current policy would start to catch electric and low emission vehicles by mistake.
“Cars are already tested on emissions and what we are looking at is if you have a battery vehicle, how long can you run that vehicle for.
“We are looking for greater flexibility here to encourage the purchase of green vehicles.
“We will be doing everything we can to incentivise people to buy green and to make them more accessible by increasing the number of charging points around the town.”