The City of London Corporation has called on Sadiq Khan to introduce a ban on new diesel private hire vehicles (PHVs) and remove existing diesel vehicles from PHV fleets as soon as possible.
The call comes in the local authority’s response to the London mayor's consultation on air quality proposals, including introducing a new emission surcharge and bringing forward the Ultra-Low Emission Zone from 2020 to 2019.
An Addison Lee private hire vehicle
As well as banning new diesel PHVs, the Corporation wants current licences phased out by 2020, to protect the public from exposure to toxic emissions.
With regard to diesel hybrids, a spokesperson for the Corporation told Transport Network that it would be up to the mayor to decide how they should operate, based on their emissions.
Jon Averns, City of London public protection director, said: ‘Diesel PHVs travel huge distances in central London and cleaner alternatives to diesel are readily available. They are releasing pollutants including nitrogen dioxides and particulate matter which can cause asthma, heart disease and cancer.
‘London’s businesses and residents want to see effective action from the authorities to reduce public exposure to air pollution in the short term .It is important that action is taken at the earliest opportunity to protect the health of Londoners.’
The Corporation recently banned the purchase of diesel vehicles for its own fleet of 300 vehicles and has pioneered a London-wide crackdown on drivers who leave their engines idling, following successful trials in the Square Mile.
Last year it agreed a deal with London’s biggest private hire taxi firm, Addison Lee, to automatically switch hybrid taxis to ‘electric mode’ in key areas of the City.