NEW green incentives for Redditch taxis are being introduced by the borough council.
In a first for Worcestershire, a vehicle’s environmental performance will now determine not only whether it can be registered as a taxi in Redditch, but also its maximum operational age.
Fully electric taxis may now remain licensed in the borough until they are 15 years old, Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs) until they are 13, vehicles that meet Euro 4 (petrol) and Euro 6 (diesel) emissions standards up to the age of 11, and others up to ten years – with two more years added to these limits if the vehicle is wheelchair accessible.
The scheme replaces and increases a blanket nine-year maximum operational age for all taxis, or 12 if wheelchair accessible, regardless of type.
Whatever their age all licensed taxis in Redditch must pass twice-yearly safety inspections, and any random spot checks, to continue to be licensed.
The new categories also determine the minimum emissions standards and maximum age for vehicles to be newly licensed as taxis.
That’s now eight years old for electrics and hybrids, seven for ULEVs, and six for Euro 4- and 6-standard vehicles.
Vehicles that do not meet those emissions standards can no longer become licensed.
Those vehicles in the fully electric category only have been made exempt from the requirement for all additional new taxis to be wheelchair accessible vehicles.
The changes were agreed as part of the council’s new Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy at Redditch Borough Council’s Licensing Committee meeting on Monday March 21, and although the policy doesn’t come into effect until September 1, the new age limits apply now.
Head of Worcestershire Regulatory Services, which provides licensing services to the council, Simon Wilkes, said: “This licensing policy provides incentives for greener taxis to cut pollution.
“And as well as supporting environmental objectives on emissions, it also extends how long taxis can be used for, recognising and supporting people who choose to invest in lower-emission and wheelchair-accessible vehicles.”