Policy change reduces impact of polluting taxis and private hire cars

The City of Edinburgh Council has made minor changes to its Taxi and Private Hire Cars Age Limitation and Emission Standards policy to help operators adjust to changes and to encourage the removal of older polluting vehicles more quickly. 

The Council’s Regulatory Committee first approved the policy in 2016, with conditions first taking effect from May 2018, when it became the only Scottish Local Authority to impose tough minimum emissions standards for the engines in taxis and private hire cars. These measures will tackle poor air quality in the city by removing older more polluting vehicles from the licensed fleet.

The Policy requires that only Euro 6 vehicles, the least polluting, will be accepted for licensing after 1 April 2022 and Euro 5 vehicles can only operate until 31 Mar 2023. These tough requirements remain unchanged. 
On Monday, committee agreed to amend part of the policy in order to further reduce older, polluting vehicles in Edinburgh. Members amended  a rule which originally took effect on 1 October 2018 preventing vehicles not currently licensed by the this council being added to the licensed fleet unless they are Euro 6, the highest standard. 

The council will now accept a Euro 5 from outside Edinburgh as a change of vehicle up to 1 April 2020 due to the shortage of available second hand taxis which meet the required standards. This will speed up the removal of older polluting Euro 1-4 vehicles from the fleet allowing a number of operators to make the necessary change to achieving full compliance with the policy.

The committee also agreed to increase the age limit for electric vehicles from the current 10 to 14 years in order to encourage operators to make the switch to a cleaner alternative.

Licensing Sub-Committee Convener, Councillor Catherine Fullerton, said: “The Age Limitation and Emissions Standards for Taxis and Private Hire Cars policy aims to reduce the impact of polluting vehicles on our environment, which is of utmost importance to the Council and so far over 500 older polluting vehicles have been replaced.
“We do recognise the cost of replacing taxis and private hire cars with brand new Euro 6 models and this minor change will allow operators more flexibility to make the change to clean, efficient vehicles whilst maintaining the original timetable.”
Download the full report from the Council website and watch the discussion on webcast.

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