Taxi Trade Task Group recommendation on emission standards
Last night Woking Borough Council’s Licensing Committee considered a report prepared by the Taxi Trade Working Group on the council’s emission standards and vehicle replacement policy for licensed taxis. The Licensing Committee appointed myself, Cllr Anne Murray and Cllr Ken Howard to the Task Group in June to investigate concerns raised by the taxi trade about the introduction of the Euro 5 emission standards and NCAP 5 safety rating for all licensed taxis from 6th January 2014.
The Task Group held a public consultation throughout September and met earlier this month to consider the representations it received, as well as a petition submitted to the council by Cllr Muzzafar Ali which requested a two year delay before the new requirements were introduced.
After a lengthy discussion and having looked at all the evidence, the Task Group has recommended that the decision to bring in Euro 5 in January 2014 should stay in force, but said drivers who do need to change vehicles before the deadline should beneift from that purchase for longer. The Task Group has therefore suggested that the introduction of more stringent Euro 6 standards, originally scheduled for 2018, be pushed back to January 2022. The Task Group will also be recommending that the mandatory CO2 charge that drivers need to pay to fund green projects in the borough be scrapped and replaced with a voluntary levy.
The report received strong support from the Licensing Committee and from the Conservative portfolio holder and Liberal Democrat shadow portfolio holder. The committee approved the Task Group’s recommendation by eight votes, with two abstentions. Our report will now go to the Executive for final approval in November.