Scarborough Council aims to encourage use of more electric and hybrid vehicles for taxis

Scarborough Council is looking to encourage the use of more electric and hybrid vehicles as taxis by incentivising drivers to make the switch.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 9:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 9:28 am

As part of a consultation on its new Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy, the authority will remove the limit on the number of licences it hands out – providing the new vehicles are Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles (ULEVs) and/or wheelchair accessible.

The council’s licensing manager, Kevin Chin, told a meeting of its Licensing Committee yesterday (Sep 20) that the current limit on licences is 105 but that would be scrapped for applications for the two types of vehicles.

A report prepared for councillors added: “We propose in this new policy to encourage the uptake low emission vehicles in the borough, and will seek to examine the feasibility of introducing differential licensing fees for hybrid electric and ultra-low emission vehicles while discouraging and increasing the balance of fees for fossil fuelled cars.

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Scarborough Town Hall.

“The current fee structure must cover the cost of the service and so a rebalance to support lower emission vehicles is in line with the principles of protecting the environment and public health.”

The consultation will now begin with the public, drivers, taxi firms and the police among those who will get to offer their thoughts.

At yesterday’s meeting, Cllr John Casey said that he would like to see it become mandatory for taxis and private hire vehicles to have cameras installed.

He said: “We are in an area of the coast that is very, very busy during the summer months and Scarborough and Whitby are busy all year round with young people getting drunk, getting hammered and getting into taxis in a very vulnerable state.

“So I would like us to consider making [CCTV] compulsory and perhaps giving the drivers a grant towards it.”

Mr Chin said the CCTV had to be a “quality system” and it was “potentially difficult” for all drivers or owners of vehicles to meet the costs associated with it which is why it was still only optional.

Earlier this month Scarborough Council declared an “ecological emergency” following on from the climate emergency it declared in 2019.