15 April 2019
Birmingham driver protests against Clean Air Zone charges ongoing
Taxi drivers in Birmingham are continuing their daily go-slow protests after claiming peace talks with council chiefs over the proposed Clean Air Zone plans were cancelled.
A statement from the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) Union in early May stated the go-slow demonstrations would continue until the 17th May and potentially beyond because of “the bulldozing through of policies that would decimate the licensed taxi trade in the City and the standards of living of those involved in it.”
The city’s RMT members wish to persuade council bosses to re-open talks on the approved new emissions policy for Hackney carriage and private hire drivers that would demand vehicles adhere to age restrictions instead of the Euro 4 (petrol) and Euro 6 (diesel) vehicle standards applying to everyone else. They are also unhappy with changes that mean by 2021 all newly licensed taxis will have to be ultra-low emission, after the date was brought forward from 2026.
Drivers are campaigning for councils to revert back to the 2026 date for newly licensed vehicles, an exemption from the Clean Air Zone charge of £8 per day from 2020 and more money towards replacing or upgrading vehicles.