Bristol City Council has been awarded more than £300,000 to support ultra-low emission taxis in the city.

The funding will be used to install four rapid charging units, made up of eight bays, at a central location near to the M32 which has yet to be confirmed.

Ultra-low emission taxis will help improve air quality in towns and city centres, but one of the barriers which has previously stopped drivers from switching, has been the lack of available charging points.

Councillor Kye Dudd, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “We are delighted to receive this government funding, which will allow us to support taxi drivers to move towards electric vehicles and reduce pollution in the city.

“Taxis play an important role in Bristol’s public transport system, often providing trips that are difficult to replace by other modes of transport.

“We have already laid the foundations for moving towards a more environmentally friendly fleet by implementing policies encouraging drivers to switch to ultra low emission vehicles (ULEV). This new funding represents the next significant step, enabling us to install a dedicated network of charging points solely for use by taxi drivers.

“Coupled with the increased availability of electric and hybrid vehicles we hope to see ULEV taxi numbers increase significantly over the coming years.”

On April 1 2018 the council introduced a new taxi licensing policy. The policy states that:

  • All new to fleet Hackney Carriages must be ULEV
  • All replacement Hackney Carriages have to be Euro VI or better
  • All new to fleet Private Hire must be petrol or better

There are currently a range of subsidies in place, worth over £3,500 to encourage Hackney Carriage drivers to switch to a ULEV. The package of incentives on offer includes licencing fees and a permit to operate at Temple Meads Railway Station.

Press release by Bristol City Council.

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