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Medium to long-term emission standard and age policy for hackney carriage and private hire vehicles

On 10 April 2019 Birmingham’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee approved a series of new policies to regulate the maximum age of vehicles that it will license after 1 January 2020 to prepare for the introduction of the Clean Air Zone (CAZ).

Summary of key changes:

  • From 1 January 2020 we will apply a maximum age limit to taxi and private hire vehicles. Taxis will not be relicensed after they are 15 years old and private hire vehicles will not be licensed after they are 12 years old.
  • If your vehicle is older than its age limit on 1 January 2020 you will be able to use it until the date that its licence expires in 2020, but if your vehicle does not meet the CAZ emission standard you will not be exempt from paying the daily CAZ charge (£8) if you enter the CAZ area.
  • If you own a TX model taxi, you will be eligible to apply for it to be retrofitted with an LPG engine, depending on its condition.
    • If your vehicle is suitable you will receive £5,000 towards the cost. The cost of the conversion depends on the particular model but is likely to be up to £12,500 in total.
  • Once converted, your vehicle can be licensed until 31 December 2025 even if it means that it will be more than 15 years old by then.
    • A vehicle that is converted to LPG under this scheme will comply with the CAZ emission standard and will not pay the CAZ daily charge.
  • If your application for a conversion is accepted and if you have entered a binding contract for the conversion, you will be exempted from paying the CAZ daily charge even if the conversion is not completed before 1 January 2020.
  • The Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme will test any new engineering products that manufacturers present to it to determine whether they can reduce pollution levels for the particular make and model of vehicle for which they have been made.
  • If any new products are approved for taxis or private hire vehicles, owners will be eligible for the same financial support package that has been made available for the LPG retrofit scheme, which remains the only approved system.
    • We are aware of at least one company working on an after-treatment solution for the TX4 model.
  • If you want to replace your vehicle (taxi or private hire) with a vehicle that meets the CAZ emission standards, you have until 31 December 2020 to license a new petrol or diesel vehicle.
  • After that date any new vehicles must be Ultra Low Emission (ULEV), which is defined by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles as emitting less than 50g CO2/km and able to travel at least 70 miles without any emissions at all.

You can download a copy of the letter sent to all taxi and private hire drivers, providing you with information on how the policies will broadly affect you, but we are also preparing a more detailed document that will be sent to you to give you information about how you can apply for financial support if relevant to you. This will be ready within a few weeks.

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