FOI request detail

What assessment has been made of the pollution impact on the health of cyclists and pedestrians by black cabs?

Request ID: FOI-1591-1718
Date published: 16 October 2017

You asked

Dear TfL, As a cyclist commuter, I am concerned that black cabs are still allowed to operate highly polluting diesel vehicles in central London I want to know what impact assessment has been made by TfL about the health impact of diesel fumes from black cabs on the health of cyclists and pedestrians. Thank you.

We answered

Our ref: FOI-1591-1718/GH

Thank you for your request received by Transport for London (TfL) on 24 September 2017 asking for information about taxis and pollution.

Your request has been considered under the requirements of the Environmental Information Regulations and our information access policy. I can confirm that we do hold some of the information you require.

To date, no specific assessment on the health impact of diesel fumes from black cabs on the health of cyclists and pedestrians has been made. However, the Greater London Authority (GLA), in 2015, published a study on the health impact of air pollution on Londoners more generally:

The London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (LAEI) also provides a breakdown of emissions by area and source. This is available at

Transport for London (TfL) is aware of the contribution that black cabs make to emissions in London. Our Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan sets out how we will help phase out diesel taxis and increase the number of vehicles capable of operating with zero emissions.  From 1 January 2018, TfL is changing the licensing regulations to require that all newly licensed black cabs are zero emission capable (ZEC), meaning that they must have a minimum electric range of 30 miles and emit less than 50g/km of CO2. With the 15 year age limit for taxis, all black cabs will be ZEC by 2033.

TfL has launched a delicensing scheme which offers owners of the oldest, most polluting taxis a payment of up to £5,000 to remove their vehicle from London's taxi fleet and to help make the switch to ZEC vehicles sooner than planned. Further information on the scheme can be found here:

Further information on the proposals to reduce emissions from black cabs, alongside the Ultra Low Emission Zone scheme, can be found on the TfL website via the following links:

Finally, the Draft Mayor’s Transport Strategy sets out potential additional measures to tackle emissions from taxis and private hire vehicles. This is available at

If this is not the information you are looking for, or if you are unable to access it for some reason, please do not hesitate to contact me.

If you are not satisfied with this response please see the attached information sheet for details of your right to appeal.

Yours sincerely

Graham Hurt

FOI Case Officer

FOI Case Management Team

General Counsel

Transport for London

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