Illustration by Steve Spencer
West Yorkshire to get £2m Government Grant to Encourage More Electric Cabs.
The drive to lower the region’s carbon emissions went up a gear as central government announced it would be investing £2 million to encourage more ultra-low emission taxi cabs on the roads around West Yorkshire.
It is envisaged that the money will help pay for around 88 new charging points across West Yorkshire. These will be sited at main public transport and taxi sites.
With Leeds having a poor record on air pollution, the grant is welcome news as the city looks for ways to reduce emissions on its roads. It is expected that Leeds will get £745,000 out of the grant allocation which will help operators install 33 dedicated rapid charging points at key sites across the city.
Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and sustainability, Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, added: “Improving air quality in Leeds is a key priority for the council and vital for the long-term health and wellbeing of our city. However, it is a big task and not something we can do on our own.”
“By working closely with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority we have been successful in our joint bid for funding to provide a network of electric vehicle charge points across the West Yorkshire region for use by the taxi and private hire trade.”
“Over the next three years, we will receive £745,000 which will enable us to fit 33 charging points for use by taxis and private hire vehicles. For this to be a success we will, of course, need the support of the trade, and are keen to encourage more drivers and operators to use ultra-low emissions vehicles and play their part in improving air quality in Leeds.”
There was mixed reaction from cabbies themselves. Some were concerned about driving distances and how an electric cab would cope with Leeds’s notorious traffic problems, while others welcomed the news and said they would wait and see how the scheme developed before investing in an all electric vehicle.