North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) has incentivised the use of cleaner cars by offering reduced licensing fees for electric and hybrid taxis and private hire vehicles.

Licensing fees are being cut by up to 50%, depending the type of vehicle. The new rates went live at the start of this September, and the council hopes the move will encourage drivers to switch to vehicles which are less harmful to the environment.

NHDC is also considering several other environmentally friendly options to improve air quality and tackle climate change, including:

  • Supporting the purchase of electric or hybrid vehicles
  • Installing home charging points for licensed drivers
  • Providing electric charging points near taxi ranks
  • Introducing ‘no idling’ conditions for taxi ranks

These initiatives follow the declaration of a “climate emergency” by NHDC in May 2019. The council set up a cabinet panel to study a range of climate and environmental issues within the local community.

Cllr Gary Grindal, NHDC’s executive member for environmental health, said: “The Council is looking closely at ways that we can help to combat climate change. Making changes to the licensing for hire vehicles and encouraging cleaner transport on our streets is one small step that, in the long-term, will have a big impact on our local environment. We look forward to working with hackney carriage and private hire vehicle owners to make this happen.”