Could switching to REAR GATE wheelchair accessible taxis save taxi drivers money and speed up emissions targets

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Photo credit: John Heath (LinkedIn)

It has been suggested that the taxi industry could meet emissions targets faster and have more vehicle models to choose from, if changes were made to a longstanding policy based on wheelchair hotspots. driving in a taxi.

All licensed taxis in London must be Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV). Many other cities in the UK also use specially designed taxi models like the LEVC TX and LTC TX4, which allow the disabled to access the kerbside ramp via the rear passenger side doors.

An employee of taxi vehicle makers Dynamo Motors, however, suggested that more vehicles would be available if cities like London adopted rear door ramp access.

Changes to the standard size of row spaces would be required to allow the ramp to be deployed at the rear of the vehicle rather than to the side. Several other “donor” models could then be considered for conversions into black taxis like the popular Nissan Dynamo Taxi.

Graeme James, Dynamo Motor Company Business & Product Advocate, said via LinkedIn: “When I joined Dynamo Motor Company I had to learn very quickly about Transport for London and the suitability requirements for a London Black Cab.

“One of the conditions is that a wheelchair ramp is provided at the passenger side door.

“However, in an independent government study, the ‘gold standard’ wheelchair covers only 54% of all mobility aid users.

“Wheelchair access nearby provides safe passage from the sidewalk or roadway, but physical vehicle size restrictions limit access. With a very simple modification of the rows, painting approved size parking spaces and curbs, we could open up the rear access and accommodate a much larger volume of passengers.

“If rear entry wheelchair accessible vehicles were approved by TfL to be a London Black Cab, we already have fully electric solutions that could provide transport to a much higher percentage of mobility aid users and further reduce emissions in trade.

“The solutions are simple and quick to implement if someone is willing to lead the change.”

Dynamo Motors recently released details of a new Peugeot E-Traveller, which has been specifically designed for Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) operators and local authorities. The vehicle has an integrated WAV ramp in the back of the converted large black van and can accommodate between five and seven people with the wheelchair.

This is the second WAV model to be offered to the PHV sector after an old converted Mercedes-Benz.

Taxi drivers in London and across the UK are eagerly awaiting news of the next Dynamo taxi hitting the market. In the long term, the Nissan Dynamo all-electric taxi will no longer be produced as Nissan will cease production of the e-NV200 Evalia van.

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