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PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2024 8:07 pm 
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Glasgow taxi driver talks applying for LEZ funding

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/sco ... z-funding/

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A Glasgow taxi driver has said applying for funding to make his cab LEZ compliant has been ‘like hitting his head off a brick wall’.

Joseph Lafferty, 64, has been a cabbie in the city for just over 23 years – making a living and serving the public.

But the Parkhead man has found that the process to get his cab retrofitted to become a Euro six engine (as per the Euro 6/VI engine required for diesel vehicles and Euro 4/IV for petrol vehicles to drive through LEZ zone in the city) has been lengthy and onerous.

It comes as taxi drivers have been tasked with either paying out the full amount up-front for the retrofit, which usually costs between £6,000 and £15,000 or applying for the low emission zone (LEZ) retrofit fund which is provided by Transport Scotland and delivered by Energy Saving Trust, which can help towards costs.

Having claimed he began the application process back in January, Joseph’s application was only officially accepted this month – just weeks before the June 1 deadline for the time-limited extension for taxi drivers.

Joseph told the Glasgow Times: “The process has felt like hitting my head off a brick wall. It’s been a nightmare.

“I feel like I’m one guy trying to fight a big body and I am just up against it.

“I am just a guy trying to earn a living and support my family.

“With the Energy Saving Trust, the process has been like jumping hurdles. I’m not very literate with the computer, so my pal has had to help me with all the documents and that’s caused a lot of issues for EST.

“I phoned them and asked if I could sit there with someone and sort it out because I was really anxious, I wouldn’t meet the deadline because they had absolutely no urgency, it was threatening my livelihood.

“I just want to make a living and serve the public, I don’t think I’m expecting a lot, I’m not asking for the world.”

Energy Saving Trust have said they have been left concerned by customers’ ill experience with the application process.

A spokesperson said: "Our advisors remain in regular contact with applicants throughout the application process and ensure that the high volume of eligible candidates we work with are served.

“While we're not able to comment on individual cases, it’s concerning to hear of any applicant that doesn’t feel happy with their customer experience. We are committed to maintaining our due diligence commitments and would encourage any applicant who feels this way to get in touch with us via lezfund@est.org.uk so that we can resolve any outstanding issues as quickly as possible".

Aside from problems with the application process with EST, Joseph also believes issues come down to two other things; the fact that grants are given on a first come, first serve basis and that there are time limits on applying for the grant.

He added: “The point in the extensions was to give us more time to find the money for the grant, and they are introducing time limits which just don’t work.

“I don’t see why they can’t give us time to get our savings together.

“They have to remember that we didn’t earn money in Covid, and we’ve been trying to build up since then. Now we have this threat, and it is unfair.

“Everyone wants clean air, of course we do, but the infrastructure to enforce that has to be perfect, and it just isn’t.”

Joseph claims he has consistently complied with LEZ after making his vehicle a Euro 4 exhaust and then purchasing a new cab at £15k to make his vehicle Euro 5.

He added: “I went into debt to help Glasgow City Council and the LEZ – they ought to hang their heads in shame because putting this pressure on taxi drivers is just shocking.”

Joseph has now managed to get his grant accepted and has until October to have his vehicle retrofitted in England – as only one place in Glasgow offers the service and it is only to vans – something that Joseph also pointed out as problematic.

However, with the backlogs to get retrofits, Joseph still believes his livelihood is under threat.

Conservative councillor, John Daly, who has been working closely with Joseph, said the cabbie has been left very distressed throughout the process.

He continued: “It’s been weeks and weeks of Joseph speaking to departments in Glasgow City Council and the Energy Saving Trust, which has been weeks and weeks and months of worry for him.

“He has five months to pay a £1,000 deposit and get retrofitted, he’s sort of being put through the mill here and we’re hearing tales like this across the city.

“He is willing to comply with legislation and has consistently proven that yet he has found himself on the rough side.

“Of course, clean air is important but well-meaning legislation should not have a bad impact.”

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council, said: “After receiving confirmation from Energy Saving Trust on Wednesday that Mr Lafferty’s grant application had been approved, we contacted him that same day to advise that his LEZ exemption would be extended until the end of October.

"We have consistently encouraged eligible operators to take advantage of Scottish Government funding toward cleaner, new vehicles, or to retrofit existing vehicles - with £2.4m paid in retrofit grants since 2019 for taxis in our region.

“Eligible operators were also granted an exemption from the scheme’s first year of operation, and we will show further flexibilities beyond this point for operators who can show they are actively taking steps to meet the cleaner LEZ standards.

“To equitably balance the health and environmental benefits of Glasgow’s LEZ, whilst continuing to support taxi operators, where an exemption is extended beyond the end of May, it will be for the shortest period possible.”

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 01, 2024 8:47 pm 
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Two more drivers leaving the trade, or at least no longer going to be owner/drivers.

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/sco ... tradition/

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2024 11:05 am 
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Glasgow Evening Times wrote:
Calum Anderson, a Glasgow cabbie, has said the Glasgow City Council initiative will force him to hand over a plate that was used by his father since the 1950s and himself for the last three decades.

Back in 2020, the press wrote:
Calum Anderson, who is chairman of Unite's Glasgow cab section, owns and hires out a number of vehicles in the city.

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Now he's handing over 'a plate' in the singular. Does that mean he still has others, or had he given them up previously because of lockdown, LEZ, lack or rental drivers, or whatever? :?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2024 1:09 pm 
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Bit of a political spin on this. You have to read between the lines slightly, and Google his name, but this chap seems to be a Tory councillor in Glasgow.

Of course, it could actually be John Daly the American golfer with the mullet. But I doubt it :?

Maybe less of the 'iconic ambassadors' stuff, though. (But those are an ex-driver's words, not the councillor's.)


Glasgow City Council has let down our taxi trade with LEZ

https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/sco ... trade-lez/

By John Daly

WITH the introduction of low-emission zones in other Scottish cities over the last week, it serves as a timely reminder to highlight the concerns the Glasgow Conservatives have repeatedly raised about the rollout of the LEZ in our city.

While we welcomed the plans in principle as we all want to improve our air quality, the SNP’s implementation has been typically shambolic.

Despite spending hefty sums on promoting the scheme, many drivers whether they live in the city or are visiting have fallen foul of the rules and the council has raked in hundreds of thousands of pounds over the last year in fines.

To hear some SNP councillors crowing about this sum – despite failing to fight for a fair funding deal for our council from their bosses in Edinburgh – means it is little wonder that many are sceptical about the council’s true intentions for this scheme.

Alongside my Conservative colleague Thomas Kerr, we have continually raised the concerns of Glasgow’s famous black taxi trade, which has found the transition period laid out by the SNP-led council administration difficult.

Whether it is a lack of supply of taxis for sale elsewhere or the lack of premises to be able to retrofit existing vehicles, in addition to problems with the grant applications, taxi operators were keen for more time to deal with the LEZ.

That is not the sign of a stubborn or unwilling partner, it is one that is still feeling the effects of the pandemic, which took a huge chunk of the lead-in time that the council says it gave taxi operators.

Despite what the SNP and the Greens say about their plans, there can be no doubt that they have failed to listen to the concerns of the taxi trade. That has led to a situation whereas of last week 269 cabs were said to be non-compliant of LEZ rules and as a result should be deemed to be in breach of their licence.

Just think about that. Nearly 300 cabs, a fixture of Glasgow streets for decades and a vital lifeline for wheelchair users and young families as well as a safe and secure way home for our young people after enjoying our city nightlife.

I’ve been dealing with complaints from cab-owning constituents for the last two years and I leave you with the words of one of them in an email to me this weekend. His words speak volumes about the loss to our city and why this tin-eared, ideologically driven SNP/Green administration has let it down … yet again.

He said: “I’ve been a proud taxi driver most of my adult life, I struggled to stay in business through the pandemic (whilst incurring debt), only to be forced out of business by an ideology fixated SNP/Green administration – and now I’ve a legacy of debt repayment for a business that no longer exists.

“This could have been managed so much better just as it is being in Manchester, where they chose practicality over an ideology that is costing jobs and damaging our city. I’m sad and disgusted!

“I have now borrowed to invest and am operating a taxi out of Glasgow, despite the additional debt I am managing to earn a less stressful living.

“I was happy to invest in my city, be given time and support to buy a fit-for-purpose cab but the support was not forthcoming and instead we were placed under constant targeted pressure and unacceptable deadlines.

“These 400 plus small businesses lost to the city were not merely taxi drivers, they were iconic ambassadors to everyone who passed through, and small tourist information hubs; the impact of their loss will be sorely felt in time.”


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2024 1:10 pm 
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Quote:
That has led to a situation whereas of last week 269 cabs were said to be non-compliant of LEZ rules and as a result should be deemed to be in breach of their licence.

That's quite a vague way to put it. How do they enforce it if drivers don't play ball? I suppose strictly speaking they're required to hand in their plate, but somehow can't see police and/or the council visiting maybe 200 or more people to commandeer the plates :?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2024 6:44 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
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That has led to a situation whereas of last week 269 cabs were said to be non-compliant of LEZ rules and as a result should be deemed to be in breach of their licence.

That's quite a vague way to put it. How do they enforce it if drivers don't play ball? I suppose strictly speaking they're required to hand in their plate, but somehow can't see police and/or the council visiting maybe 200 or more people to commandeer the plates :?


100% wrong
if your cab is not compliant they will show up at your house and remove the plates from your cab

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2024 8:30 pm 
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So, Jozef, you're saying that they've already turned up at 200+ driver's houses to remove their plates? :-o

Or maybe I'm just 99% wrong? :D :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2024 6:26 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
So, Jozef, you're saying that they've already turned up at 200+ driver's houses to remove their plates? :-o

Or maybe I'm just 99% wrong? :D :wink:


over 100 handed their plates back in to the council,not sure of exact numbers,but no doubt we will find out in due course

not having a pop at you,glasgow city council are very strict over this,my mate was off the road for medical reasons temporarily and they appeared at his house and removed the plates from his cab,told to come back for them after matter was completed

:badgrin: :badgrin: :badgrin:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2024 6:36 pm 
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Quote:
appeared at his house and removed the plates from his cab,told to come back for them after matter was completed

What happens if he had a jockey?

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2024 6:18 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
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appeared at his house and removed the plates from his cab,told to come back for them after matter was completed

What happens if he had a jockey?


tough luck

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2024 6:43 pm 
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Doesn't make any sense.

If the vehicle is safe and licensed what legal reason can a council have to revoke/suspend that license just because the owner is a bit poorly? :-k

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2024 6:50 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
Doesn't make any sense.

If the vehicle is safe and licensed what legal reason can a council have to revoke/suspend that license just because the owner is a bit poorly? :-k


your guess is as good as mine,city council are a law unto themselves

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2024 7:56 pm 
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jozefbloggz wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Doesn't make any sense.

If the vehicle is safe and licensed what legal reason can a council have to revoke/suspend that license just because the owner is a bit poorly? :-k


your guess is as good as mine,city council are a law unto themselves

What happens if a plate is co-owned by a husband and wife, quite common down here, and the non-licensed wife becomes poorly?

Do they still take the plate back? As that wouldn't be much different from a poorly owner and a fit jockey. :-k

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2024 7:57 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
jozefbloggz wrote:
Sussex wrote:
Doesn't make any sense.

If the vehicle is safe and licensed what legal reason can a council have to revoke/suspend that license just because the owner is a bit poorly? :-k


your guess is as good as mine,city council are a law unto themselves

What happens if a plate is co-owned by a husband and wife, quite common down here, and the non-licensed wife becomes poorly?

Do they still take the plate back? As that wouldn't be much different from a poorly owner and a fit jockey. :-k


dont know how to answer that one

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