Laughable | Mayor wins prestigious Award for ‘New taxi for London’ project

Siemens and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) announced the winners of the City Climate Leadership Awards 2014 at a ceremony held on Monday night in New York City.

The Awards honour cities all over the world for excellence in urban sustainability and leadership in the fight against climate change.  London won the Air quality category for its ‘New Taxi for London’ project.

Simon Birkett, Founder and Director of Clean Air in London, said:

“Boris is killing the taxi industry not saving it!  He should be using his Twitter account to issue smog warnings not begging people to vote for him to win this prestigious international award.

“The reality of Boris’s taxi strategy is that are drivers forced to buy one of two large, relatively expensive diesel vehicles because they are the only ones meeting the anachronistic 25 foot turning circle requirement.

“Key questions people might ask include:

1.  Is Boris’ ‘New taxi for London’ project real?

2.  Will Boris deliver a successful new taxi when he says he will, with funding complying with state aid rules and at a cost that allows taxi drivers to compete with private hire vehicles?

3.  Will we see the long-promised Nissan 1.6 litre petrol taxi as expected this December?

4.  Why are taxi drivers planning a go-slow in London tomorrow, Wednesday?

5.  Why is it going to take another four years to see Boris’ new taxi for London?

6.  Will it take 15 years from 2018 to replace London’s existing diesel taxi fleet?

7.  Why will all taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) not need to comply with Ultra Low Emission Zone standards applicable to other vehicles from 2020?

8.  What is the Mayor doing to reduce diesel emissions from PHVs?

9.  What is the health impact on taxi drivers and those living, visiting and working in London of diesel exhaust and other emissions from the current taxi fleet?

10.  What’s going to happen to the London taxi industry between now and 2018?

“Boris is right about one thing.  There is an urgent need for action to save, support and transform the London taxi industry.

“At the stroke of a pen he should remove the turning circle requirement and allow drivers to buy mass market petrol and other low emission vehicles at a fraction of the current cost of a taxi.

“Please Boris sort out today’s tough problems instead of applying to win Awards for ‘work-in-progress’ projects that are uncertain and many years away at best.”



1.  City Climate Leadership Awards

2.  Media release by Siemens and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

3.  London’s application for the award

4.  Recent Clean Air in London letter to the London Assembly’s Transport Committee (LATC)

 5.  CAL asked the LATC to press the Mayor and Transport for London to fix the mess they have single-handedly created by focussing on:

                    i.            Service to customers – set minimum standards and enforce them

                  ii.            Cost to customers – ensure cost differences between industry players are due to pure competition or defended regulatory markets

                iii.            Environmental impacts – taxi drivers must be able to choose to buy low emission vehicles

                iv.            Financial viability of participants – taxi drivers must be able to choose to buy cheaper vehicles

                  v.            Managing industry change – make changes quickly, review annually and modify

A combination of funding or financing and regulation to ensure the replacement of the entire diesel taxi and PHV fleet within three years or sooner is essential to protect public health and ensure market sustainability.  CAL understands that state aid rules would limit such funding unless the taxi market is opened up to more vehicle suppliers.  Again, this highlights the huge ‘costs’ and unsustainability of the turning circle restriction.

5. Media release | Licensed Taxi Drivers Association supports our air pollution campaign

6.  Conditions of Fitness

7.  C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group

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