Plan for Reading Taxis to Help Improve Reading’s Air Quality

THE COUNCIL is consulting on a timetable for moving Reading’s hackney carriage taxi fleet to newer and less polluting vehicles.

At present all hackney carriage vehicles have to meet Euro 3 emission standards (or better) to receive a licence. This places a limit on the amount Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) they emit.

Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) are harmful pollutants that are often blamed for damaging the environment. NO2 has also been proven to have serious health implications and is linked to acute respiratory illness, lower resistance to respiratory infections and irritation to the lungs.

Monitoring in Reading has shown areas of high concentrations of NO2. To tackle this issue the Council implemented an action plan, which includes proposals to reduce emissions from the local hackney carriage and private hire fleets.

Since 2013, as well as including meeting Euro 3 standards, no hackney carriage can be more than 20 years old, and no vehicles are licenced for the first time if they are more than 15 years old.

Three years have now passed since the introduction of the current standards. The aim of these changes now is to improve the emission standards and introduce a new age limit of 15 years for the Hackney Carriage fleet. The proposed timetable is as follows:

  • All Hackney Carriage Vehicles Euro 4 or equivalent by 1 October 2018
  • All Hackney Carriage Vehicles Euro 5 or equivalent by 1 October 2021
  • No Euro 5 or 6 Hackney Carriage Vehicles permitted to be over 15 years old

Cllr Paul Gittings, Reading’s Lead Member for Consumer Services, said: “It is clear that we need to take action to address the problem of poor air quality in Reading and that transport, including Reading’s hackney carriages, needs to play a role.

“To help cab owners get better placed to plan and finance their vehicle replacements, Reading Taxi Association has requested a set of target dates indicating when any new emissions standards and new vehicle age policy might commence.

“Hopefully, by setting achievable goals and agreeing on a manageable timetable for change, we can work together with Reading Taxi Association to improve Reading’s air quality.”

If people wish to make a comment or have concerns regarding the proposed changes they can email licensing@reading.gov.uk or comment online at www.reading.gov.uk/taxi-emissions-consultation by 31 August 2016.

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