Decision details

Decision details

Decision to approve recommended sites for Rapid EV Chargers for Hackney Carriage and Private Hire priority use under the Go Ultra Low Oxford Taxi Project, phase 2.

Decision Maker: City Executive Board (became Cabinet on 13 May 2019),

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


To progress the City Council’s electric vehicle charging for taxis project.  


1.    Approve final charge point installation sites for Taxi and Private Hire priority use at six locations under phase two of T-GULO including Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, Headington Car Park, Keble Road, Old Greyfriars Street (Westgate), and Rewley Road Paved area. A fully public site is approved for Botley Road Retail Park.  Multiple sites are pending the conclusion of third party land use negotiations.


2.    Approve fall-back charge point installation sites, to be pursued should the (above) final charge point installations sites fail to pass third party land use negotiations. Fall back sites include Worcester Street Car Park, Ferry Leisure Centre and Rewley Road Layby.


3.    Approve the delivery of all of the above sites excluding Botley Road under a concession model where the Council contributes 75% of the capital funding, with a 25% match from EB Charging Ltd.  EB Charging will be responsible for all ongoing operational costs excluding maintenance of the site. The two existing T-GULO chargers at Manzil Way Gardens will be adopted under this model.


4.    Approve an additional fully public site on Botley Road Retail Park to be pursued under a concession model with increased revenue share, to increase overall commercial resilience of the provision. This is pending third party land use agreement.


Background of project

5.    In partnership with Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council has developed proposals for a Zero Emission Zone in Oxford, to be rolled out in phases from 2021. The overall aim of this journey to zero is to eliminate transport ‘tailpipe’ emissions in Oxford city centre by 2035. Transitioning businesses and residents to ultra-low and zero emission vehicles is a critical building block of this zero-emission ambition.


6.    Public Health England advises that ‘there is no evidence of a threshold for health effects’ from air pollution and that local authorities should “seek to lower population-level exposure and reduce everyone’s exposure to air pollution, as well as targeting ‘hotspots’’, to maximise health benefits.  In January 2020, a study from Centre for Cities showed that the estimated absolute number of attributable deaths caused by PM2.5 alone in Oxford in 2017 was 55. Nitrogen Oxides NOx (NO2 and NO) are the pollutants of most concern in Oxford and the city continues to see breaches of the legal limit for this pollutant. 


7.    A 2016 feasibility study commissioned by Oxford City Council, conducted by the Energy Savings Trust, established that the Oxford Hackney Carriage produces comparatively high levels of NOX emissions, driven by the fleet’s age profile – at the time of study, over 50% of vehicles were 17 years or older, all were diesel and only one vehicle met the newest Euro6 standard. A second study conducted by CENEX commissioned by Oxford City Council using telematics showed routing patterns in the current fleet, which confirmed that taxi NOx emissions are largely generated within the central, high footfall areas of Oxford.


8.    New emissions requirements for hackney carriages were agreed in February 2019 with the support of the trade: Citywide Hackney Carriages emissions standards began to apply from 2020, with a requirement for all vehicles to be ULEV by 2025.


9.    Oxford’s first four Ultra Low Emission Taxis, and one zero emission Private Hire Vehicle have since been licensed in Oxford, and the City Council is working with drivers and the Hackney Carriage trade to increase uptake. Covid19 has slowed this transition, but the overall trajectory remains unchanged.


10. T-GULO Phase 1 saw a high-profile flagship rapid taxi charging site consisting of two chargers (four rapid charge points) successfully delivered October 2019 at Manzil Way Gardens and has been positively received by the trade. This site is utilised daily. Temporary public access to suitable sites will be considered while trade utilisation is still low.


11. The project is set to be delivered by May 2021 on a total budget of £478000 (including £373000 of funding from OLEV and match funding of £105000 from Oxford City Council). Spend to date totals £170000 with £308000 remaining.

Alternative options considered:

The approved Sites have been selected from a longlist of 42 sites based on consultations with stakeholders and subject matter experts (internal and external), including Regeneration Managers, Planning, Oxfordshire County Highways and Road Safety, Hackney Carriage and Private Hire representatives and ward members.

Of these a shortlist of sites was agreed, based on a set of agreed criteria and a risk matrix, and graded according to Quality, Cost and Schedule. From this nine were recommended for approval (first choice and fall back options).

During the shortlisting phase, developed and technical designs have been produced, site surveys have been carried out, legal documents prepared, full quotes have been received and a business model has been produced for each site.

The sites provide charging solutions with good access to the major artery roads into the city, and in the city centre. This is to ensure that users are never more than five miles away from a charging site anywhere within the city boundaries.

A viable balance of locations and sites across the city has been maintained.


Signed off by senior officers:

Tim Sadler, Transition Director, in consultation with the Monitoring Officer (Nigel Kennedy), Section 151 officer (Anita Bradley), Cllr Tom Hayes (Deputy Leader; Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford), Susan Brown (Leader of the Council, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Partnerships).

Publication date: 23/03/2021

Date of decision: 22/02/2021

Accompanying Documents: