Oxford Council invests £500,000 in charge points for taxis

Oxford City Council plans to install £500,000 of electric vehicle charging points for taxis and to phase out older, high-emitting hackney cabs from the city.

This is part of efforts to reduce air pollution.

The City Council is working closely with COLTA (City of Oxford Licensed Taxicab Association) on the scheme, which will see 19 electric vehicle charging points installed for the exclusive use of hackney and private hire taxis.

The aim is to install the first seven in 2018 and the remaining 12 in 2019.

The scheme also sets out, for the first time, the City Council’s intention in the future to set an age limit on all hackney carriages operating in Oxford of 18 years and require all newly licenced hackney carriages to be ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

The charging points will be ‘rapid’ and ‘fast’ chargers to enable drivers to quickly charge batteries during breaks.

The locations will be finalised following consultation with drivers, but potential locations include Oxford Rail Station, Gloucester Green, London Road, Cowley Road, St Giles, Summertown car park, and Redbridge and Seacourt park and rides.

The City Council won £370,000 of funding from the government’s Office for Low Emissions Vehicles for the project. The aim is to seek the remaining funding from private investment.

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. Every vehicle in Oxford is contributing to this major public health emergency.

“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.”

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