Council gets grant for low-emission taxis

A partnership between Eastleigh Borough and Southampton City Councils has been awarded £254,000 to support the introduction of ultra-low emission taxis into the fleets of taxi and private hire operators across the two authorities.

The funding has been awarded by the Government Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) following a successful joint bid to the 2016/17 Air Quality Grant programme.

Cabinet Lead for Transport Cllr David Airey said,

“We are delighted to have received this support to help us take practical steps to manage air pollution, this funding will allow us to support local businesses to encourage more sustainable transport and improve air quality.

“We all have a part to play in helping to reduce air pollution and improve air quality. This could be as simple as swapping a local car journey to walking or cycling –this helps reduce pollution and increase your level of healthy activity.”

Poor air quality affects the health of residents and impacts on the local environment. Road transport is recognised as the single most significant contributor to air quality problems in Southampton and Eastleigh. The scheme will include helping taxi operators to improve their fleets through the replacement of high polluting diesel vehicles with clean hybrid and electric vehicles.

Work will now begin on how this can best be delivered directly to taxi and private hire operators to help them upgrade existing diesel vehicles to cleaner alternatives. Further details on this will be available later this spring.