London Mayor Sadiq Khan has excluded taxis and private hire vehicles from his Transport Strategy as they still cause brake, tyre and tailpipe emissions – and taking a cab is “unhealthy”.
Mayor Khan (pictured) said he wanted 80% of all journeys in London by 2041 to be made on foot, by bicycle or public transport. “It would be inappropriate for taxis to be included in this 80% target given they do not contribute to our aims to increase Londoners’ physical activity and given they do create emissions, including from tyre and brake wear.”
Taxi operators are switching from diesel to zero-emissions capable cabs, while all new private hire vehicles registered in London now have to be either plug-in hybrids of electric vehicles. But while this reduces tailpipe emissions, even the cleanest EV still creates particulates via brake and tyre dust – and that’s not good enough for the mayor.
All Mayor Khan would say was that taxis and PHVs will “continue to play a role”, for some of the 20% of trips in 2041 that are not expected to be made by foot, cycle or public transport.
Public transport, such as buses and Underground trains are included in the key policy, and the same criticisms could be levelled at them – London’s 9,300 buses generate tyre and brake dust, as well as contributing 25% of all vehicular NOx emissions in London.
And a recent study by King’s College found that pollution on the London Underground was on average four times worse than that on the road surface above.