Northampton Borough Council has applied for funding to help install dedicated electric taxi charging points in the town centre
The authority submitted the application for a grant to the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles following meetings of the council’s scrutiny panel.
It is the latest development in what is a marked shift towards looking at lower emission vehicles in a bid to cut down on pollution. The shift started after a May 2017 report found that one in 20 deaths in Northampton were partially caused by air pollution - with the blame attached to the diesel engine byproduct nitrogen dioxide.
Back in January 2018, the council’s Northampton Low Emission Strategy (NLES) highlighted that the town’s 850 hackney carriage and private hire vehicles were contributing towards air emissions, but that they could also ‘be part of the solution’.
The strategy was aiming to ‘encourage and support’ taxi and private hire operators to switch to low emission alternatives, as according to the report: “Taxis operate mainly in the urban area where air pollution is greatest and often leave their engines idling on taxi ranks where members of the public are often exposed.”
A target of all taxis being electrical by 2030 also forms part of the strategy, and the installation of rapid charging points would be a small step towards that aspiration.
The borough council will find out by the end of February whether its application for grant funding has been successful.