Boris Johnson and TfL have unveiled wide-ranging new plans to tackle the capital's air quality crisis, setting out proposals to invest £330m through to 2020 in new green buses.
TfL yesterday published its draft business plan for the rest of the decade, confirming plans to support the launch of the Mayor's Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2020 by rolling out a further 2,400 hybrid buses
The transport authority also revealed plans to provide £40m of assistance to black cab drivers who will be affected by the proposed 10 year age limit for their vehicles as part of the Mayors ultra-low emission zone.
That's £2k each, to encourage drivers to invest £50k+ in technology that appears to be nowhere near ready to for Taxis. In Osaka Japan, customers are being given blankets to keep warm, Taxis driven with no lights at night, no wipers in the rain, in a bid to extend poor milage because of battery deterioration due to regular fast charging. Drivers are leaving the trade in droves, stating that they just can't make a living driving electric Taxis.
But our Mayor seems to be oblivious to all the warning signs.
Boris appears to have made his mind up not to be the trade saviour he promised when seeking election. A 10 year age limit on diesel vehicles will cost the trade millions. Many drivers are still recovering from the financial impact of the 15 year age limit where 6,000 vehicles have been were removed from the Taxi fleet and are now being replaced by a vehicle with worst pollution problems.
The Mayor and TfL seem intent on expanding the bus network, even after reports that congestion caused by empty buses clogging up the major transport network, is causing dangerously excessive emissions, causing more than 4,500 premature deaths annually.
Many in the travel industry feel the true reason behind the recent removal of licensed Taxi facilities at large events, is an attempt to undermine the Licensed Taxi trade and encourage an increase in footfall on tubes and buses.
Last month TfL announced a new record for journeys on the capital tube network, while the Taxi trade saw 3 major events left without adequate Taxi ranks.