TAXI drivers in Oxford will have to have zero emissions vehicles within three years, the city council has confirmed.

Labelling it 'the first step on the journey to zero' the council confirmed that a number of emissions standards for Hackney Carriage Vehicles would be enforced in tandem with the planned Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ).

New ZEZ proposals were laid out earlier this year.


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The new standards – developed after consultation with taxi drivers – will see licensed taxis take a phased approach between 2020 and 2025.

Drivers will only able to get a licence in 2025 if they have a zero-emission cab.

By 2020, Hackney carriage drivers will be required to have taxis of at least Euro 4 standard to renew their licence, and Euro 4, Euro 6 or 'zero-emission capable' to receive a new licence.

By 2022 they will be required to have zero-emission capable vehicles to receive a new licence.

And by 2025, drivers will be required to have zero-emission capable vehicles to renew or receive a licence.

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Currently, Oxford’s fleet consists of 100 per cent of diesel vehicles – with 51 per cent older than 15 years, and the six oldest vehicles being 19 years old. As it stands, the maximum age for a new vehicle to obtain a licence is five years.


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The changes were approved by the city council’s budget meeting yesterday.

Councillor Tom Hayes, board member for a greener environment at Oxford City Council said: “Our taxi drivers, their passengers, and the wider city and county need to breathe cleaner air and these taxi licensing changes will make that possible.

"We welcome our positive relationship with the city's black cab drivers and share their excitement about becoming zero-emitting by 2025.

"As vehicle prices drop, the savings of running electric black cabs become more apparent, and our citizens and visitors opt to travel in the cleanest taxis, i'm optimistic that the city council and the Hackney carriage trade will accelerate this journey to zero before 2025.”

Councillor Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for environment at Oxfordshire County Council, added: “This is the first and a very positive step in our joint vision to implement a zero emission zone in phases in central Oxford, which will benefit the whole county.

"As emissions standards are tightened, taxis, buses and other vehicles will become cleaner, as part of our wider transport plan envisaging innovative and sustainable ways to move around Oxfordshire.”