l welcomed the new hybrid blakc cab taxi ( zero emission ) launched in London yesterday, and call upon the Mayor to reduce the age of London’s taxi fleet by reducing his proposed upper age limit from 15 years to 10 years by 2012 in his latest draft air quality strategy. The 15 year age limit is just too high for London’s black cabs, particular if you known that the average age of a black cab is 7.5 years. Thats twice the average age. Incredibly under present regulations we still have a sole registered black cab dating back to 1986 !
It’s all very well & good bringing out the new high-tech toys, but these new taxis aren’t by themselves going to solve London’s pollution problems. We need to completely overhaul London’s taxi fleet and get the oldest vehicles off the roads with some good old-fashioned policy measures. Bring the upper age limit down & at a stroke you’ll reduce pollution and by extension respiratory illness. Such a move is already overdue – 2012 is long enough to wait for this, let alone 2015.
The Mayor’s own air quality strategy highlights the particular pollution problem caused by black cabs and yet incredibly he saw fit to abolish their six monthly road-worthiness tests. So far the Mayor’s alleged pollution reduction measures have done little to get the EU off our backs and just recently the Commission made it quite clear they are going to issue large fines to the UK as a result of London’s pollution levels.