Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Taxi drivers urged to adopt eco cars
TAXI drivers in Worcester could be offered incentives to encourage more of them to swap their gas-guzzling cabs for super-green ‘eco’ cars.
The move is a bid to tackle the pollution coming from Worcester’s fleet of taxis, which has trebled to nearly 300 over the last decade.
Councillor Jabba Riaz, vice-chairman of the city council’s licensing committee, says the move would make the Foregate Street area more desirable for shoppers and help the planet.
One Worcester driver, Zamir Hussain, has already swapped his old hackney carriage for an ‘eco’ electric car by Toyota. The incentive idea is in its very early stages, but could see licensing fees, which are set at £399 for new drivers or £340 for renewals, change to encourage eco cars.
Coun Riaz’s idea has already won the support of the chairman of the licensing committee, Coun Paul Denham.
Coun Riaz said: “The idea that taxi drivers could be using ‘eco’ cars is an excellent initiative – I’ll be sitting down with licensing officers to see if we can start offering incentives.
“There are plenty of complaints about taxi fumes and if we can bring a policy into place it would be a real step in the right direction.
“It would help the city’s pollution a lot but it would also help the drivers themselves as they pay virtually no road tax for these vehicles.”
Talks are expected to take place in the coming weeks over how the incentive might work. One issue is making sure drivers who purchase electric vehicles can serve the disabled, as the authority currently limits the number of saloon cars, which are not wheelchair friendly.
Coun Denham, who is also the deputy Mayor of Worcester, said: “I would absolutely support such a scheme, it would be a real step forward if we can encourage more taxis to do that.
“It’s not just the number of taxis people are concerned about, but the exhaust fumes from them.”
Electric cars are slowly gaining momentum across the country, some of which are hybrid vehicles and have small fuel tanks, and others which run off charging points.
Mohammed Ali, of Worcester Taxi Drivers Association, said: “This is a good idea and we’d like to see it in place.”
Comments are closed on this article.