Canterbury West train station

Cllrs come up with green proposal for city cabs

Canterbury’s cabs should be electric, say leading city councillors.

The call comes as the council grapples with reducing pollution as it strives to improve the city’s air quality.

Former Lord Mayor Rosemary Doyle told a meeting of councillors this week: “This is a subject dear to my heart and I had the environment and streetscene portfolio for six years when we did a lot of work on air quality.

“One of the things mentioned is commercial taxis and I really think we should concentrate on getting them more friendly, less diesel, and more electric or hybrid vehicles.

“This is because they do short journeys, which is very bad for the environment. As we are the licensing authority, I’m sure there should be a way of getting them to produce more environmentally friendly vehicles, perhaps with lower licence fees.

“This would be to try to prevent the pollution that comes from those vehicles.”

The city council is currently consulting on its its draft air quality action plan.

It has produced a raft of measures including fining drivers who idle in stationary traffic and encouraging bus companies to use more environmentally friendly vehicles.

Cllr Mike Dixey, who represents the central Westgate ward, also spoke at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Joint Transportation Board.

He said: “I welcome this consultation and the fact that air quality has gone shooting up the agenda in the last few years – not just here, but nationally as well.

“I think we should consider that all taxis which operate within the city should only be electric.

“I also think we should be looking at having differential parking charges so that those cars which are fully electric have heavily discounted parking charges.

“These two things would yield very significant benefits.”

The council finishes its consultation tomorrow (Friday).

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