Plans to introduce age limit for taxis in Northumberland to reduce vehicle emissions

Northumberland County Council wants to introduce an age limit for taxis in a bid to reduce vehicle emissions.

By Ben O'Connell
Friday, 25th October 2019, 12:45 pm
Updated Saturday, 26th October 2019, 3:29 pm
Northumberland County Council is looking to limit the age of taxis.
Northumberland County Council is looking to limit the age of taxis.

Under proposals which will be going out for consultation, from April 2020, new taxi licences would only be issued to cars which are less than four years old, meaning they would all meet the EURO 6 emissions standard.

For existing vehicles, a maximum eight-year life would be adopted, with a start date of April 2023, while wheelchair-accessible vehicles would have an extra two years, meaning that April 2025 is the compliance date.

At present, these new measures would not be met by almost a third of the taxis licensed in Northumberland.

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As of August 1, the county council licensed 888 Hackney carriage and private-hire vehicles, of which 104 are wheelchair-accessible. Of the remaining 784, 249 – or 32% – would not comply with the recommendations.

At Wednesday’s (October 23) meeting of the authority’s licensing and regulatory committee, members agreed that the consultation on these proposals should take place.

David Sayer, the council’s business compliance and public safety unit manager, explained that all 12 local authorities in the North East had agreed to this plan, with the aim of following a similar time-scale to ensure the new rules are introduced at the same time across the region.

He told the meeting: “We are in the fortunate position in Northumberland in that we have had vehicle emissions standards in place for some time.

“Some areas in the North East haven’t had the standards that we have, so for us it’s a step up rather than a giant leap.”

Councillors were also informed that in line with new national Air Quality Regulations, which came into effect on May 1, the authority is now providing information to the Government relating to each taxi and private-hire vehicle it has licensed.

This information will form part of a database whose details can be shared in relation to enforcement measures which have been implemented in order to improve air quality, for example, in Clean Air Zones, such as the one proposed for Tyneside.