In another effort to reduce air pollution in the city, Oxford City Council has outlined plans to install £500,000 of electric vehicle charging points for taxis and to phase out older hackney cabs from service.
Working closely with the Oxford’s taxicab association COLTA, the scheme will see 19 charging points installed exclusively for hackney and private hire taxis, with seven to be installed in 2018 and the remainder in 2019. The council also plans to establish an 18 year age limit on all hackney cabs operating in the city and to require all newly-licensed carriages to be ultra-low emission vehicles.
Councillor John Tanner, executive board member for a Clean and Green Oxford, said: “Oxford has illegal levels of air pollution in some parts of the city, which is affecting the health of residents […] we are working with the County Council on plans to introduce a Zero Emission Zone from 2020, which will restrict access to Oxford city centre for emitting vehicles, and will go a long way to getting air pollution below legal limits. This new scheme will provide the electric vehicle charging infrastructure to help get Oxford’s hackney cabs ready for 2020.”
“This new scheme will provide the electric vehicle charging infrastructure to help get Oxford’s hackney cabs ready for 2020”
According to the council, the charging locations will be finalised following consultation with drivers, but potential locations include Oxford rail station, Gloucester Green, Cowley Road, St Giles, Summertown car park, and Redbridge and Seacourt park and rides. The project will be paid for by £370,000 of funding from the government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles and additional private investment.
This latest scheme is only part of a wider series of projects designed to tackle air pollution in Oxford. In 2015, the city council launched the Oxford Park and Pedal initiative, introducing over 100 cycle spaces at two park and ride sites while, together with the Oxfordshire County Council in 2014, the city council launched Oxford’s Low Emission Zone.
The council has also worked on improving access to electrical charging points previously, using £800,000 of governmental grants to install around 100 stations in residential streets.