Dacorum looking to turn taxis green by 2025

The move is one of a number of changes proposed in the council's new ‘draft taxi and private hire licensing policy’

Dacorum could refuse to license taxis or private hire vehicles that don’t match electric or hybrid standards by 2025, according to new proposals.

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The move is one of a number of changes proposed in Dacorum Borough Council’s new ‘draft taxi and private hire licensing policy’.

And it is said to reflect the council’s declaration that there is a current and future climate emergency that requires urgent planning and action.

If implemented, says the draft policy, vehicles would be expected to meet an electric or hybrid standard by 2025.

That means diesel and petrol vehicles – other than hybrids – could be refused a taxi or private hire licence from the council from that date.

However it would still be possible for a vehicle that did not meet these standards to be licensed, if there were exceptional circumstances.

The proposals were outlined to a recent meeting of Dacorum Borough Coucil’s licensing, health and safety and enforcement committee (March 11).

And there will now be a period of 12-weeks public consultation – before they are considered again.

The draft policy also includes proposals to tighten emissions standards from next April (2021).

According to the document, at first application all vehicles must already meet Euro 5 emissions standards.

But, if agreed, from April next year (2021) that would be restricted further to vehicles that meet of exceed Euro 6 emissions standards.

If the policy is approved, those drivers renewing their vehicle licences must meet Euro 5 from April 2021 and Euro 6 after April 2023.

For those vehicles that don’t meet the emissions standards, the draft policy suggests vehicles could be adapted, cleaner fuel could be used such as bio-diesel or the vehicle could be replaced.

As part of the proposed changes drivers would be required to sign-up to the DBS update service, as part of their application – allowing the council to carry out crime checks when it feel appropriate.

Temporary licences would no longer be issued and there will no longer be a 28-day ‘grace’ period for renewals that are not submitted on time.

The new draft policy also proposes the council’s use of the new NR3 database that would highlight if an applicant had been refused a licence – or had their licence revoked – by another authority.

At the meeting of the licensing, health and safety and enforcement committee, councillors agreed that consultation should go-ahead.

The results of that consultation will be fed back to a future meeting of the committee, which will then make a decision on whether it should be adopted – with or without changes.

Should significant changes be proposed, further consultation could be required.

A spokesperson for Dacorum Borough Council said: “We do not have a precise date for the start of the consultation as this stage, but hope to commence it within the next couple of weeks.”