British taxi drivers keen to switch to alternative fuels


Behaviour change charity Global Action Plan and LPG fuel supplier Calor have come together the find out the views of the UK’s taxi drivers on the air pollution challenge. The ‘Cabbies for Clean Air’ research was published ahead of the UK’s first National Clean Air Day, which has the goal to improve the understanding of air pollution. Taxi drivers occupy a unique place in the air pollution crisis as they are exposed to significant levels of bad air as well being a primary source of harmful emissions.

Global Action Plan spoke to 19 taxi drivers in London, Southampton and Glasgow about their thoughts on air pollution, what concerns them and what some of the barriers were for them to move towards cleaner vehicles. Taxi drivers are concerned about the impact on their health while sitting in this environment for 8-12 hours per day, so they want to convert their vehicles to cleaner fuels such as Autogas.

Peter Bond, Senior Union Rep at Unite and London taxi driver said: “London taxis obviously contribute to the emissions problem in London with NOx and particulates and we have to accept that we are part of the problem. We fully support initiatives to go to zero emission capable vehicles but this has to be done alongside schemes that can help taxi drivers”.

Rebecca Hart, Corporate Affairs Manager at Calor said: “It is important that the views of taxi drivers are understood and considered. Policies aimed at improving our air are rightly being prioritised, but taxi drivers need affordable and readily available solutions to bring their emissions down quickly and get older diesel models off the road. We believe Autogas retrofit represents this affordable transition solution. At £10,000, retrofit to LPG will drastically reduce emissions on NOx, PM and carbon and is ULEZ compliant. The government’s new Clean Air Strategy consultation points towards funding that would give taxi drivers support for retrofit which should be given serious consideration by politicians as part of an immediate solution to the air quality challenge”.

Taxi drivers and unions such as Unite want to engage in open dialogue with local and central government to discuss policies which affect them and other road users. They know where the problems arise and are well placed to help come up with the solutions that will make life better for all road users. If you want to know more, please visit this link.