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Petrol and diesel taxis in Lichfield and Burntwood should begin to be phased out, a Lib Dem councillor has said.

Cllr Paul Ray, who represents the Chadsmead ward on Lichfield District Council, said local action was needed to help create a greener future.

His comments come after the local authority passed a motion to declare a climate change emergency.

Cllr Ray outlined a range of steps he would like to see, including a move to make all taxis and council vehicles hybrid or electric in the near future.

Paul Ray

“Vehicle emissions are clearly one of the major issues to be tackled and councils – including Lichfield District Council – can make a real impact.”

“The Lichfield and Burntwood Liberal Democrats are therefore proposing a number of specific actions.

“We call on Lichfield District Council to phase out all taxis licensed in our district which are not hybrid or electric vehicles by a fixed date.

“That would make a real difference to our air quality. In London all taxis will need to be electric by 2033 – but we would want this delivered in a shorter timeframe.

“All council-run vehicles should also be hybrid or electric by a fixed date.”

Cllr Paul Ray, Lichfield District Council

Cllr Ray also called for parking charges to be scrapped for electric vehicles across Lichfield and Burntwood.

He added:

“I appreciate that these changes would need some detailed planning.

“We are aware that not all hybrids are a real improvement on the petrol or diesel engine and we would need to ensure that there is full consultation with our taxis drivers and that there are sufficient charging points.

“But I say let’s get started – time is not on our side.

“And I appreciate that funding is an important issue but there is funding available to assist local authorities through bodies like the Go Ultra Low Cities.

“So I call on Lichfield District Council to commit to these initiatives and I will be engaging with the council to see how these can be taken forward.”

Cllr Paul Ray, Lichfield District Council

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  1. This would definitely be a move in the right direction – along with making the switch to more environmentally friendly buses, something which has already started to happen in the West Midlands. That said, the Norwegians had already ditched diesel buses back when I was living there 25 years ago. Make no mistake, this country is playing catch-up and too often dragging its feet instead of making a real commitment to the environment.
    Right now Covid-19 is presenting a new challenge for public transport and many of us are using our cars more as a result. Social distancing on buses means they fill to their new capacity more quickly, leaving some passengers stranded. This is affecting children at my daughter’s secondary school, many of whom travel some distance by bus. One solution might be to give priority to school and college students at the time of day when students are going home, but this would only happen if the government addressed the problem and consulted with parents and the bus companies. Easier to just threaten to fine parents who don’t send their children to school and then leave schools and parents to deal with any problems …

  2. So you need a taxi to take you to say Lancaster due to the time of day as no trains. The taxi has to be able to do a round trip of 280 miles so it can get back to Lichfield. It is a non starter dreamed up by someone who never travels more than a few miles in a day

  3. I’m sure the privileged minority who can afford a taxi to Lancaster will be capable of making their own alternative arrangements. Maybe hop on the back of a Champagne float?

  4. Nick I will give you an example of the need,due to strikes my son got stuck in the early hours in London,the Eurostar company paid for a taxi to Lichfield it arrived at about 4 in the morning then returned to need to engage brain and get of your high horse

  5. I would be the first to agree that we need to tackle pollution as a matter of urgency, we simply cannot carry on as we have done. However, a word of caution. The net environmental effect of manufacturing electric vehicles, and generating the extra power needed to charge them all, will be worse than modern lean burn petrol vehicles. The rush to going electric doesn’t take account of this inconvenient fact. We need to base decisions on sound science not political point scoring.

  6. “The net environmental effect of manufacturing electric vehicles, and generating the extra power needed to charge them all, will be worse than modern lean burn petrol vehicles. The rush to going electric doesn’t take account of this inconvenient fact.”

    It is not an inconvenient fact, it is a very convenient lie made up in a small number of studies paid for by those with a vested interest and debunked many times since.

  7. Well Chris, it depends on many factors, with a lot of ‘maybes’ involved. The damage done by mining Lithium, how we will generate the extra power needed, how spent batteries will be dealt with etc. I might not be completely right but I’m not completely wrong either. And I do take into account who is doing the research.

  8. Can I declare a common sense emergency? What on earth does this declaration mean? Grow up. China is building a coal powered power station every two weeks and has reserves for 1,000 years. Whole life cost of new vehicles v keeping existing ones on the road? Let’s spend millions Lichfield DC doesn’t have replacing a fleet of vehicles too? Very environmental conscious? Produce a whole life benefit v alternatives first to show that scrapping lots of perfectly good vehicles makes sense…. I’m a chartered accountant and economist, maybe making manufacturers produce vehicles that lasted more than the 6-8 years current design life would be a real start. But that would mean they sell fewer which is why the obvious is never considered….

  9. pity they got rid of trolley buses,why dont they bring them back,and trams,both fueled by electricity,so clean and green.cost a bit mind you,but it would be worth it in the end,

  10. How many taxis would need to switch to electricity, to offset the environmental impact of all of the house building going on?

    There is an environmental emergency. The council still want Bromford Housing, to build on green spaces. Want to build a leisure centre, on a park……..

  11. We have suffered from short sightedness in this country. Getting rid of trams, which some areas have brought back at greater cost. Cutting many local train lines, due to cost at the time and that most people will have cars in the future – yes they do, that’s the problem. Politicians have a short term view up to the next election, that’s why we have a climate crisis.

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