Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London said, it would be ‘inappropriate’ to include licensed black taxis into one of the key policies of the London Mayor’s Transport Strategy due to the brake and tyre emissions created.
The Transport Strategy policies created by the Mayor of London mainly focuses on making 80 percent of trips in capital by foot, public transport and bicycle by 2041.
Although the capital’s taxi trade has invested over £200 million on 4,000 greener Zero Emission Capable (ZEC) taxi vehicles, the block for the industry is seen as the emissions created by brake and tyre wear. Moreover, the mayor listed reasons like fewer taxi journeys and more physical activity of Londoners.
In the key policy of public transport includes buses, which will also reducing physical activity and generating brake, tyre and tallpipe emissions. Currently, Transport for London (TFL) manages bus fleet of 9,300 vehicles and operates across 675 routes.
The policy also includes London Underground transport service. According to the study conducted by King’s College London, the underground London emits four times more pollution compared to the road transport.
However, the London mayor also said taxis and private hire vehicles would play a major role by adding 20 percent of trips in 2041 to routes, which are not possible by foot, cycle or public transport.
At present, there are around 14000 black cab licensed taxis and 4000 Zero Emissions Capable (ZEC) taxis including LEVC TX and Nissan Dynamo.
This year, there has been a decrease in the number of wheelchair accessible taxis by 20%, which means 3800 less taxis running in London.
Keith Prince, London Assembly Member asked London Mayor, “Given the dramatic decrease in vehicles, does the Mayor agree that a fully wheelchair accessible, emissions target achieving taxi fleet should be included in his 80% target within his 2018 Transport Strategy?”
In reply to this question Sadiq said, “The success of London’s future transport system relies on reducing Londoners’ dependency on cars in favour of active, efficient and sustainable modes of travel. This shift will help address many of the health, congestion and environmental challenges we face as a city. Accordingly, Policy 1 of my Transport Strategy sets out my aim for 80 per cent of trips in London to be made on foot, bicycle or public transport by 2041.
“It would be inappropriate for taxis to be included in this 80 per cent target given they do not contribute to our aims to increase Londoners physical activity and given they do create emissions, including from tyre and brake wear.”
However, there are different views coming from different political experts and members. Steve McNamara, General Secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) said, “The Mayor’s comments are extremely concerning for the taxi trade and frankly simply don’t stand up to scrutiny.”