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New rules for taxi and private hire vehicles

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New rules for taxi and private hire vehicles are coming in to help protect the environment.

Stroud District Council’s Community Services and Licensing Committee has unanimously voted through new changes to the emissions policy that will encourage the long-term phasing out of higher polluting taxi and private hire vehicles in the district.

From 1st April 2025 all renewal vehicle applications must be Euro 6 compliant (which sets the maximum limits for certain harmful gases and particulate matter a car is allowed to emit) unless they are ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) or electric vehicles (EVs), with wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) remaining exempt.

From 1st April 2023, all new vehicle applications and change of vehicle applications for taxis and private hire vehicles must comply with the criteria of the vehicle being 5 or less years old. This criteria has been retained from the current policy but will no longer exempt elite vehicles. ULEVs and EVs will be exempt from this rule. WAVS will continue to be exempt but must be Euro 6 compliant on first licensing.

The Community Services and Licensing Committee considered recommendations of the Task and Finish Group – a group made up of councillors and supported by licensing officers – at a Community Services and Licensing Committee meeting held on Thursday, 23 March

Committee Chair, Councillor Chris Brine said: “The task and finish group has carefully considered how to reduce emissions from taxi and private hire vehicles. The council has listened to the views of the taxi and private hire holders, other agencies, relevant groups and the wider public before making these recommendations.”

Formal consultation on the proposal took place between 7 December 2022 and 12 February 2023.

SDC will continue to encourage the reduction of taxi emissions throughout the district by proposing interim changes and actions to existing policies – a move away from the current policy based on age and to replace it with a policy based on age for first licensing and Euro 6 emissions compliance to remain licensed. SDC will aim for further proposed dates and changing criteria in 2025, 2028 and 2030 with SDC’s final ambition of all renewal vehicle applications being ULEVs or EVs by 2033.

Committee vice chair, Cllr Beki Aldam, added: “Stroud District Council declared a climate emergency in 2018 and we continue to do everything in our power to make the district carbon neutral by 2030. Setting out long term aims to bring emissions to zero will give the local taxi and private hire industry a coherent direction and make the council’s ambitions clear.”

SDC’s long-term aim is for all vehicles in the district being zero emissions in the future. The Council Plan aims to review taxi and private hire licensing conditions to encourage an increase in the percentage of low and ultra-low emission vehicles. These proposals will help SDC to achieve the aim of becoming a carbon neutral district by 2030.   

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