The Square Mile wants a ban on all diesel minicabs by 2020

 
Lynsey Barber
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City chiefs are calling for a ban on diesel PHVs (Source: Getty)

Leaders in the City are calling on the Mayor of London to ban diesel mincabs in the capital in a bid to reduce pollution.

The City of London Corporation wants Sadiq Khan to ban all diesel vehicles used by companies such as Uber and Addison Lee by 2020.

New licenses would not be given to the most polluting private hire vehicles (PHV) immediately under the group's proposals, while current cars would be phased out over the next three years.

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The suggestion came in the Square Mile's response to the mayor's public consultation on air quality.

"Diesel PHVs travel huge distances in central London and cleaner alternatives to diesel are readily available" said the City of London's public protection director.

“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 Londoner."

The proposals go further than new rules which have already been introduced governing the emissions of taxis in the capital. New black cabs must be low emission ones from 2018 while for minicabs that date is 2020

A rising number of PHVs on the road in the city has been blamed by some as contributing to the pollution problem.

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Uber has made its own efforts to reduce pollution in the capital with the launch of a fleet of fully electric cars last August and plans to look into the feasibility of putting a large number of electric cars on the road.

Addison Lee and the City of London Corporation agreed last year to switch hybrid cars to electric mode in the square mile.

Khan has pushed ahead with plans to address London's growing pollution problem. According to data from Transport for London, diesel cars account for 11 per cent of London’s emission problem, while taxis and petrol cars contribute seven per cent and three per cent respectively. But it's buses and heavy lorries which contribute the most combined - 20 per cent.

Major cities Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City have ambitious plans to ban diesel cars completely by 2025 .

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