Licensing Committee launches call for evidence on emissions standards

03 September 2013

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Woking Borough Council's Licensing Committee has today launched a call for evidence on plans to apply European emissions engine standard five (Euro 5) and European NCAP crash safety rating five stars (NCAP 5) to all new and renewal licensed taxi vehicles from Monday 6 January 2014.

The Council believes that the European emissions and NCAP crash safety rating standards are an important measure in meeting our climate change objectives and reducing harmful emissions of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbon into the environment. In 2009 a decision was made by the Council's Executive to delay implementation of the standards for two years beyond the original roll out date of January 2012.

However, the Council has been asked by a number of representatives from the taxi trade to review the introduction of Euro 5 and NCAP 5 again in light of the economic climate.

Following a meeting of the Licensing Committee on Tuesday 18 June 2013, it was agreed to establish a Taxi Trade Working Group to take evidence from drivers and hackney and private hire firms and make a recommendation to the Executive about whether there should be a further deferral.

The Taxi Trade Working Group is now seeking written evidence and submissions on the following subjects.

  • The extent to which the existing hackney and private hire fleet already meets the Euro 5 and NCAP 5 standards, and the number of vehicles that still need to make the transition.

  • The costs involved in upgrading vehicles to become Euro 5 and NCAP 5 compliant, and any other obstacles to meeting the new standards.

  • Whether there should be a deferral of the Euro 5 and NCAP 5 standards, and, if so, when should they be introduced.

Cllr Carl Thomson, Chair of the Licensing Committee, said: "Although making clear some years ago that the policy of the Council was to move to the Euro 5 and NCAP 5 standards at the beginning of 2014, the Licensing Committee has set up a task group to examine the issue in more detail following a number of representations that have been received from the taxi trade. We are now seeking written evidence from drivers, vehicle owners, hackney and private hire companies, and any other interested parties who may be affected.

"We are particularly keen to hear from drivers about whether they will need to upgrade their vehicle, whether they have already made the transition, what costs were involved, and how they believe the environmental, sustainability and safety objectives of the Council can best be met through the new standards."

The Taxi Trade Working Group will also be considering issues around obtaining suitable inspection and MOT provider services in the Borough, and difficulties in securing affordable motor insurance and finance for new and replacement vehicles, and would be grateful to receive any information or representation on these matters.

Written submissions should be emailed to or sent in hard copy to:

Taxi Trade Working Group
Licensing Team
Woking Borough Council
Civic Offices
Gloucester Square
Woking GU21 6YL

The deadline for submissions is Monday 30 September 2013.