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Council extends moratorium on hackney cab age policy

Published on Thursday, May 17, 2018

Last year, the council introduced a relaxation of the age policy until June 2018, meaning that around 25 hackney carriages due to reach the limit of the age policy could apply for an extension to their licence.

The council’s current policy on vehicle age is that no hackney carriage will licensed once it is over 11-years old.

The original cut-off date for extensions was set for 30 June 2018. With his deadline approaching and ongoing uncertainty about when ultra-low emission hackney cabs will be available, the council has decided to extend the moratorium until the end of December 2018.

The council also hopes to be able to introduce a grant scheme to support hackney bad operators clean up their fleet in September, if a bid to the European Reginal Development Fund is successful.

This will mean a further 26 hackney cabs could have their licenses extended.

So far, seven hackney cabs have been given an extension until the end of June.

All affected vehicles will continue to be subject to regular six-monthly safety tests during any extension.

Helping the taxi transport sector to reduce their environmental impact is one of the key aims in Leicester’s Air Quality Action Plan.

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “We have already seen the positive impact that clean-air technology has made to the city’s bus fleet.

“Ultra-low emission hackney cabs will be vital to helping local taxi operators make their fleets more environmentally friendly and support the city’s clean air ambitions.

“Unfortunately, manufacturers have still not managed to make ULEV hackney cabs widely available to operators. Therefore, it is important that the council makes some concession to those drivers that want to make the transition to electric cabs but can’t yet do so.

“By further relaxing the age policy for hackney cabs, we hope that more of the city’s hackney cabs will be electric vehicles by next year.”

There are currently 328 hackney cabs licensed to operate in Leicester.

The relaxation of the hackney carriage age policy will not apply to private hire vehicles, where hybrid and ULEV alternatives are already available.