PCO Notice 21/2003
Emissions strategy for taxis – Vehicle age limit
The Mayor of London is committed to improving air quality in the capital and taxis will be required to contribute to this. During consultation on the draft emissions strategy for taxis, trade representatives have recognised that taxi drivers will be among those who will benefit from an improvement in emissions and accept that taxis should play their part. The PCO is committed to delivering a strategy which achieves the Mayor’s objective whilst minimising any burden on the trade
In developing an exhaust emissions strategy for taxis as part of the Mayor’s wider Air Quality Strategy, the PCO has engaged in consultation with interested parties. In May a draft strategy was circulated for discussion which included a proposal that originated from the trade during consultation, that there should be an age limit on London taxis. At that time the PCO proposed that this should be 12 years, combined with technical measures to clean up older engines.
Consultation with the trade, particularly drivers and owners, has revealed a widespread dislike of this proposal but support for technical solutions for older engines. In the light of this, and because of the acknowledged durability of London taxis, it has been decided that no age limit will be imposed and that taxis of any age will be licensed if they continue to comply with the Conditions of Fitness and pass the PCO licensing inspection. Older vehicles may, however, be required to attend more frequent inspections to ensure that high standards are maintained.
Work continues on developing an emissions strategy for taxis and this will be published as soon as possible. It is likely to consist of a phased programme to achieve a progressive reduction in harmful emissions from the London taxi fleet. It is expected to start with the older, more polluting, pre-Euro vehicles and to then, over time, address Euro 1 and possibly Euro 2 vehicles. (All Metrocabs manufactured after 29 March 2000 and all LTI cabs manufactured after 1 February 2002 meet Euro 3 standards.) Cabs will be required to meet higher emissions standards if they are to continue to be licensed.
Options for meeting the specified emission levels would include fitting emissions reduction equipment, converting to LPG, being re-engined or replacement of the cab with a new, or more recent, vehicle. The Energy Saving Trust is currently identifying suitable technologies, their costs and effectiveness. Individual owners will wish to consider at the time the most appropriate option in their particular circumstances. The PCO is aware that new emission requirements are likely to impose some cost on vehicle owners and discussions are taking place with the Energy Saving Trust and Department for Transport to identify grants that might be available to offset the cost of such work.
The PCO is anxious to remove the present uncertainty surrounding this issue and, as soon as the details are finalised, will issue a notice indicating:
• the overall strategy;
• the specific vehicles affected by the strategy;
• the options available to comply with the strategy;
• the costs involved and grant(s) available; and,
• the timetable for implementation.
7 October 2003
Head of the Public Carriage Office