United Kingdom
Sector: LPG

British cabbies say yes to autogas

We have presented taxi-related news a number of times, including those regarding the iconic British black cabs. Another chapter in the story has just been written, though, as taxi drivers were interviewed for keenness to use alternative fuels. And guess what they said!
Black cabs on a London street© auto-gas.netConverting all taxis to run on autogas will take time, so the sooner the process starts, the better for everyone

Taxi drivers are exposed to pollutants suspended in the air, but also their vehicles contribute to the problem. That's why Global Action Plan and LPG supplier Calor interviewed 19 cabbies in London, Southampton and Glasgow to see how they perceive air pollution and if they're willing to do something about it on their part. The outcome of this research was published in the form of a report just ahead the first ever National Clean Air Day. The initiative is aimed at helping the general public understand the problem – widespread consciousness is the first step to working on a solution.

The response from taxi drivers? Given they spend between 8 and 12 hours driving in their cabs, breathing air containing lots of exhaust gasses, you won't be surprised they are generally eager to move towards cleaner fuels, including LPG autogas. The world's most popular alternative fuel is the easiest, most affordable way to move away from petrol and diesel and benefit both air quality and own pocket.

London taxis obviously contribute to the emissions problem in London with NOX and particulates and we have to accept that we are part of the problem. We fully support initiatives to go to zero emission capable vehicles but this has to be done alongside schemes that can help taxi drivers.

Peter Bond, Senior Union Rep at Unite and London taxi driver

Of course, it's one thing taxi drivers want to be a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem, but without help they may find it difficult to ditch their polluting cars in favour of cleaner ones. After all, conversions of the existing fleet don't quite alleviate the issue since almost all taxis today are diesels. Funding schemes are being discussed and detailed, so that not long from now older cars can be replaced with new, conversion-friendly ones. Cabbies are willing to help, but in many cases are unable to do it on their own. And why should they? After all, it's not their direct fault that the cars they drive for a living spit out harmful nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. We're glad to know they're open to debate and we hope autogas is chosen as the first step towards zero-emission taxi service of the future.


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Robert Markowski
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