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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:15 pm 

Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 6:33 am
Posts: 4071
Bit of same old, same old about many of these CAZ/LEZ articles now, but some fairly interesting discussion points here.

Not least that most of this seems to have been initiated by several Uber (taxi!) drivers in Sheffield. Sign of the times :-|

Taxi drivers call on council to speed up consultation ... -1-9810383

Taxi drivers say they have been left in limbo after plans for a Clear Air Zone were announced eight months ago with no further information.

Last November, Sheffield Council said it was looking at creating a zone around the city centre after the Government said it must cut nitrous oxide emissions.

Taxis and buses would have to pay a daily £10 charge to enter the zone and the council is also looking at charging light goods vehicles such as vans.

But Uber drivers say since the announcement, they have struggled to find further information despite repeated requests.

Council chiefs say they have met with taxi driver representatives as they “move towards” a full consultation. There are 3,000 private hire and 850 black cabs in the city.

Lee Herriott, Virginia Halstead and Dean Higgins say drivers can’t buy new vehicles because they don’t know what “green” level will be required.

Mr Higgins said: “The cheapest electric car is £28,000 but they are too small to use as a taxi. The range of cars just isn’t good enough, especially for wheelchair access. The most suitable car is a Tesla but they are £40,000 which is a mortgage for some people.

“There’s also not enough charging points. You have to break during your shift to charge them and if you have an airport run it’s a real problem. Electric black cabs also struggle with the hills in Sheffield.”

Ms Halstead says there’s also an issue with LPG and hybrid vehicles. “There are only 31 hackney cabs out of 850 which are suitable for LPG because you need a tank but by law it can’t be near where passengers sit so it’s very difficult to fit one in a taxi. These tanks are ok with saloon cars but not estate or hackney cabs.”

Taxi drivers say they also feel penalised because private motorists won’t be charged.

Mr Herriott said: “They will still allow cars and lorries which is what is annoying private hire drivers. We are only four per cent of the pollution in Sheffield.

“We are all self employed, but why aren’t other small businesses, such as delivery companies, not being charged?”

Coun Bob Johnson, cabinet member for transport and development, said the aim was to have the entire taxi fleet in Sheffield made up of ultra-low emissions vehicles by 2021.

Coun Johnson, a new cabinet member, said: “Our ambitious clean air plans are now my responsibility and I thank these drivers for the concerns they’ve shown – it’s encouraging that they are already taking steps to get cleaner vehicles.

“Air pollution is a serious problem and taxi drivers are one of the groups who are most at risk from the damage caused by nitrogen dioxide emissions.

“My officers have held several initial meetings with representatives of Sheffield’s taxi associations about these proposals and will continue to do so as we move towards a full city-wide consultation.

“These meetings have been positive but it’s vital we keep working with taxi drivers to design the support packages that will reduce air pollution in the city.

“The consultation will be available to every taxi driver. We are launching a website and will hold some targeted discussions and events in the weeks ahead. We want to support drivers to enable them to get cleaner vehicles while thinking about the long-term needs of the city.”

Taxi drivers Q&A on Clean Air Zone ... -1-9810491

Uber drivers Lee Herriott, Virginia Halstead and Dean Higgins posed a number of questions to the council about the Clean Air Zone which the council has replied to.


Can we trial hydrogen on demand kits? These are cheaper, easier to install and very effective at cutting pollution.


Both hackney carriage taxis and private hire vehicles will be subject to a daily charge if they are non-compliant.

Our proposed standards for hackney carriages will be either LPG or electric vehicles and for private hire will be petrol – electric hybrids or fully electric vehicles.


We’ve been unable to buy new vehicles because of the confusion over what is required. Why is there a lack of information about what is required?


We understand that there is conflicting information about clean air zones – and the standards that we expect to form part of our policy about our plans for a Class C clean air charging zone on the inner ring road and in the city centre.

Sheffield is one of the first cities to introduce a low-emission zone and we will do everything possible, through the consultation and beyond, to ensure that we create a legacy that improves our city’s air quality.


Why are taxi drivers being penalised?


Buses and non-compliant light good vehicles such as vans will also be charged under our plans.

We will be consulting fully with drivers before any scheme is implemented.

We believe that many vehicles will be non-compliant to the required engine standards in the proposed zone.

In particular, we estimate that this will include almost the entirety of the London-style Hackney carriages due to their age and emission levels and a significant proportion of the private hire vehicle fleet.


What help will you give drivers?


We are looking at a number of ways that we can support them – such as offering interest-free loans to improve their vehicles and extending the period in which they can convert their vehicles.

Where taxi drivers have recently upgraded to newer vehicles which will still be non-compliant under the zone, we will consider approaches such as ‘sunset periods’ which would give those drivers additional time to replace their vehicles.

We understand that we are likely to require taxi drivers to upgrade or replace their vehicles at a much faster rate.

We are developing support packages for taxi drivers, and other fleets affected, which we are seeking funding from Government to provide a range of incentives such as interest-free loans to enable drivers to change their vehicles to meet the new standards.

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:52 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:13 pm
Posts: 344
Sheffield cab drivers always use to say 'the councillors must live in Derbyshire and ride push bikes ',cos they have no idea of thinks they are still the same;living in cloud cuckoo land!

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