Emission standards for taxi and private hire vehicles

There has been a lot of media coverage in recent months about pollution levels in the UK. The main causes of pollution in towns and cities are Nitrogen Oxide and Nitrogen Dioxide (referred to as Nitrogen Oxides), which are produced in the emissions from petrol and diesel vehicles.  Although invisible to the naked eye, this form of pollution is very serious and some of the people who are most affected by it are motorists who spend long hours behind the wheel, such as taxi and private hire drivers.

Air quality in city centres is a major public health concern. The Government has told Birmingham, London, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton that they must introduce Clean Air Zones (CAZ) to improve air quality in their city centres by 2020.  The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has set minimum emissions standards for vehicles to be allowed entry to a CAZ. 

One of the measures available to local authorities is taxi and private hire licensing policy, which can be used to control the use of vehicles that fail to meet the prescribed vehicle emission standards.

We are consulting to seek the views of licensed hackney carriage and private hire vehicle owners, drivers, operators and members of the public on proposals to introduce emission standards for licensed vehicles.  

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