£2m boost for '˜electric taxis' in Leeds and neighbour cities

Leeds and its neighbour cities have won a £2 million cash boost from the Government to help get more ultra-low emission electric taxis on the region's roads.

File photo of an electric car being recharged. Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The new grant to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority will pay for 88 dedicated taxi and private hire charge points to be installed at key public transport and taxi operation sites across the region.

It comes after a successful bid to the Office for Low Emission Vehicle’s UltraLow Emission Vehicle (ULEV) Taxi Scheme.

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City bosses today welcomed the shot in the arm for the region’s green credentials, which comes just a fortnight after Leeds’s high profile Clean Air Day.

Leeds has previously been named a hotspot for air pollution and has been ordered by the Government to clean up its act on this issue.

Leeds will get £745,000 of the total grant allocation, with the money expected to be used to help operators install 33 dedicated fast and rapid charge points at their bases and depots,

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environment and sustainability said: “Improving air quality in Leeds is a key priority for the council and vital for the long-term health and wellbeing of our city. However it is a big task and not something we can do on our own.

“By working closely with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority we have been successful in our joint bid for funding to provide a network of electric vehicle charge points across the West Yorkshire region for use by the taxi and private hire trade.

“Over the next three years, we will receive £745,000 which will enable us to fit 33 charging points for use by taxis and private hire vehicles. For this to be a success we will of course need the support of the trade,and are keen to encourage more drivers and operators to use ultra-low emissions vehicles and play their part in improving air quality in Leeds.”