Nov 14 2014

The Unlawful and Improper London Taxi Age Limit

The Unlawful and Improper London Taxi Age Limit

1/ In 2010 the Environmental Audit Committee conducted an Inquiry into air quality with the purpose of advising Local Authorities on strategies to reduce pollution.


2/ Tim Yeo chaired that Inquiry and initiated the idea of a taxi age limit. He discussed it at the Inquiry hearing with Deputy Mayor Isabel Dedring and others. He declared a conflict of interest as he was also chairman of Eco City Vehicles the company selling the new taxis that drivers were forced to buy at £43k. The Parliamentary Rules state that if a chair has a vested interest he should step aside. Declaring an interest merely confirms that he had one it does not excuse the fact that he should have stepped aside.


3/ The Mayor of London submitted a written report to the Inquiry confirming that a new Euro 5 vehicle would create 5 times as much NO2 as a 15 year old vehicle.


4/ London Assembly members asked the Mayor on many occasions throughout the period 2010-2013 to conduct some basic testing of taxis to prove that the older taxis were more polluting. He point blank refused to conduct a single test instead saying that the new taxis would be less polluting because they were Euro 5 , which completely contradicted his own evidence


5/During the period 2010-2012 TFL conducted Taxi Age Limit consultation workshops. These were attended by Peter Da Costa the CEO of Eco city Vehicles (Yeos company) who directly tried to promote the taxi age limit. This involvement in a taxi age limit consultation was ruled unlawful in a similar case in the High Court. During the same period Eco City Vehicle issued Press Statements optimistically looking forward to the introduction of an age limit and predicting profits from it.


6/ The taxi Age Limit was introduced in Jan 2012


7/ The Mayor was challenged by MP Andy Slaughter about the involvement of Tim Yeo and the fact that the new taxis created MORE pollution than the older taxis being scrapped.

The Mayor replied that the new taxis were cleaner because they were Euro 5 which completely contradicts his own evidence.

He also stated that Tim Yeo and his company had no involvement whatsoever in the initiation of the taxi Age Limit despite the fact that Yeo had chaired the inquiry which initiated it and that his CEO had attended consultation meetings to influence them


8/ During 2012 the Environmental Research Group at Kings College London were commissioned to conduct emissions testing on 100000 vehicles in London. The subsequent Defra report published in May2013 showed emissions of 10,000 taxis were measured and it was proven again that the emissions of the new Euro 5 taxis were higher than the 15 year old taxis being scrapped.


9/ In June 2013 the Sunday Times conducted an undercover sting on Tim Yeo. He said on camera (in relation to a proposed solar company) ‘ pay me £7k a day and I can influence the policy at a local and national level.’ He also said that he had contact with all the key players in Government. He added that he had coached a witness who was due to appear before his committee and that what he said privately was another matter.

This is exactly what he did with the London Taxi Age Limit. He used his position and contacts to initiate and implement the London Taxi Age limit for his own financial gain on the false premise that his new taxis would reduce pollution. The Parliamentary Standards Commissioner ignored all evidence and dismissed all complaints against Yeo


10/The Air Quality measurements have shown little or no improvement in pollution yet the Mayor claims that he has reduced pollution by scrapping 3000 of the most polluting taxis.

The evidence is clear that the taxis he has scrapped are not the most polluting and that pollution in London has not been reduced.


11/ In January 2014 Yeo was deselected by his local constituency in Suffolk. They said at the time that they had seen his corruption and were concerned that further corruption would be exposed. They said that he used shell companies to hide his income and they were concerned that this would be exposed. In fact Yeo admitted this during the undercover sting yet no one has even bothered to report it.


12/ In September 2014 it was exposed that the Mayor had tried to con the Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee by submitting false reports to them .

He submitted predicted modelling reports which were a few years old and showed a projected significant reduction in pollution of 20%.He was trying to pass this off as an actual report of air quality reduction. The actual air quality measurement reports show only a very slight reduction of 3% .


The Mayor has ignored common sense ideas to reduce pollution (like cleaner fuel) which means that 80 people a week are dying in London from pollution

The Mayor of London acknowledged in a written report to the Environmental Audit Committee in 2011 that the new Euro Emissions standards were not delivering reductions in pollution.

He said ‘ A Euro 5 car, for example, emits around five times as much direct NO2 as a fifteen year old car.

He then completely contradicted his own evidence and needlessly scrapped 15 year old taxis falsely claiming that it would reduce pollution, knowing full well that it would not.

It is a requirement of Public Law that the Mayor’s decisions are evidence based and for proper purpose.

The London Taxi Age limit is neither ; it is not evidence based as he conducted no testing whatsoever and if he had it would have shown than the new taxis create MORE pollution.

It is therefore also not for proper purpose; the Taxi Age Limit was supposed  to reduce pollution and his policy has actually INCREASED pollution.

The Mayor was asked on many occasions by London Assembly Members to at least conduct basic testing to prove that scrapping taxis would reduce emissions. He point blank refused to conduct any testing whatsoever..

In May 2013 Defra released a report after the Environmental Research Group tested 10,000 taxis which confirmed that the new taxis were creating more pollution than those that had been scrapped.

The Mayor has ignored this further conclusive evidence and continues to force taxis off the road on a daily basis creating financial hardship for drivers and doing nothing to reduce pollution

Emissions reduction of PM could have been achieved by retrofitting Diesel Particulate Filters.

The Mayor has written to the Environmental Audit Committee boasting that he has reduced pollution in London by scrapping 3000 of the most polluting taxis, even though the technical and scientific evidence proves that he has not reduced pollution at all and in fact the new Euro 5 taxis create MORE harmful NO2 than the 15 year old taxis.


Ref to Mayors statement in 2011


‘’11. NO2 levels have not fallen in recent years as modelling had predicted. This is a problem across major cities in the UK and across the EU. Emerging evidence, including a report by King’s College London, suggests that this may be due to the failure of recent Euro standards to deliver expected reductions of NO2 [1] . A Euro 5 car, for example, emits around five times as much direct NO2 as a fifteen year old car.’’


The Mayor of London has deliberately implemented the Taxi Age Limit for the sole purpose of financial gain for Tory  Tim Yeo, who chaired the Environmental Audit Committee Air Quality Inquiry in 2010 which led to the Taxi Age Limit .

At the same time Tim Yeo was also chairman of Eco City Vehicles , selling the Mercedes Vito Taxis that drivers were forced to buy as a direct result of Yeo’s policy.

This is a clear breach of the Parliamentary Rules yet the Standards Commissioner has ignored all complaints and exonerated Yeo of any wrongdoing


3         “when a member of a Committee, particularly the Chairman, has a financial interest which is directly affected by a particular inquiry or when he or she considers that a personal interest may reflect upon the work of the Committee or its subsequent Report, the Member should stand aside from the Committee proceedings relating to it.” [Paragraph 24]



The Mayor of London has ignored all suggestions of valid emissions reduction ideas including a ban on peak time deliveries, a project to convert taxi to petrol engines, a project to use clean diesel (which is used in Sweden and could reduce pollution in all taxis by 30% overnight) and a diesel engine cleanup programme.

As a result of his failed strategies to reduce pollution the Mayor is now proposing further ridiculous ideas like an Ultra Low Emissions Zone in 2020 which could see ALL current taxis taken off the road.


There are 4267 people a year dying in London from Air Pollution (the Mayors own statistic) which includes heart and lung disease and cancer.


Link to Defra report which proves that newer taxis are causing MORE pollution than older taxis.see page 44 onwards for taxi results





Taxi Drivers are probably the group of workers most affected by air pollution in London ; (how many drivers do you know with one of the above diseases?) and yet the Mayor sees fit to implement improper policies which will not reduce pollution but which deliberately cause financial loss to taxi drivers.

It seems like it is part of his master plan to destroy the London Taxi Trade.



Please see below the recent reply from the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner in which it is said that there is no evidence that Yeo had a conflict of interest (despite the fact that he declared himself that he did) and my further response in relation to a breach of the Parliamentary Rules by Tim Yeo MP.


Yeo said in the undercover Sunday Times sting that he could if he was paid £7k a day he could influence the policy at a local and national level and had close contact with all the key players in Government.


What is more shocking is that this is what he actually did with the London Taxi Age Limit; he used his position as Chair of an Inquiry to influence the policy to initiate a London Taxi Age Limit and then benefited finically because he was also Chairman of the company selling the new taxis. This policy was implemented to reduce pollution in London (4267 people a year dying form pollution in London) but actually subsequent scientific testing of 10,000 London Taxis showed Yeo’s taxis causing MORE POLLUTION than those that he forced to be scraped. It was improper process and for an improper purpose and no action has been taken by the Standards Commisisoner.


Yeo also admitted on camera that he had coached a witness who was due to appear before his own committee on what to say. Yeo has a declared interest with Eurotunnel and the witness was associated with this company. This in itself is a blatant breach of the rules and has been ignored by the Standards Commissioner.


In the undercover sting Yeo claimed (if he was paid £7k a day)

‘I’ve got a very close relationship with all the key players in the UK Government’ and said ‘I think I could help define how to influence the policy process here, at a national level and on a local level…’

These statements are shocking, but what is more shocking is that he has not just said that he could potentially do these things to the undercover reporter, he has ACTUALLY been doing this for years and getting away with it.






MP Andy Slaughter challenged The Mayor about the improper involvement of Tim Yeo and Eco City Vehicles in The Taxi Age Limit Consultation. Please see attached letter from Boris to Andy Slaughter in which he lies through his teeth about the involvement of Eco City Vehicles and also see photos/ TFL minutes below which prove this  is a lie

The Mayor wrote

‘’Mr Yeo and Eco-City Vehicles PLC, have provided no input either formal or informal, into the development of the Taxi Age Limit’’

‘’ No response to any of the consultations on the developing the strategy was received from Mr Yeo, Eco City Vehicles PLC or the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee’’


The letter  clearly shows the Mayor has lied about the involvement of Eco City Vehicles in the Taxi Age Limit Consultation. He says there was no involvement at all and it is clearly documented by TFL that there was.(see previous email below)

In addition he says he had no contact with Tim Yeo / Nick Hurd in relation to the Taxi Age Limit.

This is a complete and utter lie and is not ‘unfounded ‘ as Chapman would argue; it is clearly documented with factual evidence.


The Mayor submitted a lengthy 7 page memo to Tim Yeos Committee in relation to HIS Air Quality Strategy in London.

Why has the Mayor lied about this?


Deputy Mayor Isabel Dedring actually attended the inquiry and was questioned by TIM YEO and the Taxi Age Limit was discussed. Why has the Mayor lied about this?


Boris Johnson has subsequently admitted, (when questioned in the London Assembly) that he did meet with taxi manufacturers BEFORE the taxi age limit was introduced. Why has the Mayor lied about this?


It has also been documented by TFL themselves that Peter Da Costa CEO of Eco City Vehicles, attended many of the Taxi Age Limit consultation meetings and actually made comments supporting the introduction of the Age Limit.

Why has the Mayor lied about this?


The Mayors Diary disclosure states the following meetings

Meeting with Mr Liu Shufu, Geely Automobile The Mayor’s Office 02/02/2009 LTI TAXI MANUFACTURER


Meeting with Wilfried Steffen, Mercedes The Mayor’s Office 20/07/2010 MERCEDES VITO TAXI MANUFACTURER


Meeting with Mr Lee, Geely The Mayor’s Office 03/08/2010 LTI TAXI MANUFACTURER



This shows that he met with the manufacturers of London Taxi International and Mercedes (who supplied the Vito Taxi) before he introduced the taxi age limit which benefited them both.

He had previously said in the letter to you that he had no communication with the suppliers of the new taxis.

His diary also shows he attended the Copenhagen summit in December 2009 which was also attended by Tim Yeo , but Boris says they had no contact.




Please see information below which shows that the Mayors response that Eco City Vehicles had no involvement in the age limit consultation is factually incorrect

September 11th, 2012

Tim Yeo Quits Lucrative Green Job
MP and CEO Walk From Eco City Following Guido Revelations

Last month Guido revealed that Tim Yeo’s cab-selling company Eco City Vehicles was set to profit from a change in the law agreed by their own CEO Peter Da Costa – yet another conflict of interest from the chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Committee. Following the revelations here and here, Yeo has quit as a director of the company. Da Costa is also standing down. With the lobbying mission accomplished, now Yeo is running for cover…

There has been speculation in recent weeks that No. 10 have become increasingly worried about Yeo’s outside interests, raising questions over whether he could stay as the Energy Select Committee chairman while having such high level interests in green businesses. Some see Yeo’s “man or mouse” attack on the PM was a tanks on lawn warning shot from the golf fan. The loss of his Eco-City job means he’s down over £3,000 per month, but don’t feel too sorry for him – Yeo remains a director of ITI Energy, AFC Energy, Eurotunnel and chairman of TMO Renewables. Guido will say it once again – just because the conflict of interest is declared, it’s still a conflict of interest.

August 21st, 2012

Taxi Trouble Mounts for Tim Yeo
Eco City Vehicles CEO Signed Age Limit Deal


Last week Guido revealed yet another of Energy and Climate Change Committee chairman Tim Yeo’s conflict of interests with the green tycoon’s taxi company, Eco City Vehicles, helping to provide London with new environmentally-friendly taxis. It gets worse.

The photograph above shows Eco City Vehicles CEO Peter Da Costa smiling broadly as he signs the agreement to introduce an Age Limit for taxis in London. Da Costa signed Boris Johnson’s Air Quality Strategy, giving Yeo’s seal of approval to plans to force drivers to replace cabs that are over ten years old. Eco City Vehicles aim to dominate the capital with their German-made taxis at £30,000 each. Da Costa himself is pictured here on a test drive with the new model. No wonder he was looking so smug…



Peter Da Costa was appointed chair of Eco City Vehicles in 2007




The fact that he and Yeo resigned as soon as these facts had been exposed surely confirms their credibility?




It is confirmed by this photo that Da Costa signed the Age Limit when he was Chair of Eco City Vehicles.




He attended these meetings which proves the Mayors statement that City Vehicles did not attends is a lie.

It is also clear from Da Costas statements at the meetings that he was there to promote the new Mercedes taxis.

Please note that in this Consultation document



it acknowledges that Peter Da Costa of KPM and also Eco City Vehicles (Mr Yeos company) attended consultation meetings with TFL and the purpose of this was obviously to influence TFL into implementing the Taxi Age Limit. It is improper for a company who were to benefit from this Age Limit to have played such a pivotal role in its implementation. What is the purpose of their involvement?

He attended meetings and consultations on the following dates






He urged TFL to impose an Age Limit and is quoted at a meeting on 1/4/10 as saying


PdC said that many drivers understand the need for a revolution regarding

environmental issues, and urged decisions as soon as possible to give clarity.


He tried to sell the benefits of the Mercedes at a meeting on 7/5/10

PdC explained that manufacturers are looking at hybrids, such as an EV with series

hybrid and provision for battery swap, but that support may be needed to make the

cost viable. This is now getting attention from the very top of Mercedes Benz in


PdC reported that Mercedes are considering a specific heater in the vehicle, so the

driver does not need to run the engine to keep warm.

PdC said that drivers need confidence that they will benefit from proposals. Eg age

limits might be more acceptable if drivers knew TfL regarded them as an important

part of London’s transport mix; TfL must aim to restore confidence that we believe in

the taxi trade. People in the trade are jittery as they do not know what

mayor/GLA/TfL intentions are, particularly regarding age limits. He felt that, to some

extent, the cab trade must take steps to modernise to help themselves.


In this report TFL acknowledge that it had been requested that instead of a Taxi Age Limit each vehicle should be tested. (see 5.32)



TFL claimed that it would not be cost effective to test 20000 taxis and that it was better to use the Euro standards that are given to a taxi when it is manufactured.

They obviously felt that it was more cost effective for drivers to be forced to pay Mr Yeo £35k than the cost of a proper emissions test which would have been £100.

This is in complete contradiction of the Mayors report which says Euro standards have not been truly reflective of emissions

He  goes on to acknowledge that the new emissions standards are not delivering cleaner Nox emissions from diesel vehicles See 3.6.15



He is acknowledging that the new taxis will be no cleaner than the older taxis he is forcing off the road


Also the DFT advice to NOT impose an Age Limit on the basis of emissions as older taxis are no worse or better than newer taxis.




Article in 2007 in which Tim Yeo states the need to speed up shift to Low-carbon vehicles.

What he doesn’t say is that in an urban environment the newer vehicles are no better than older vehicles

Road transport

On the road, the overriding need is to speed up the shift to low-carbon vehicles. Alongside that, though, better driving techniques can also cut emissions significantly. Even enforcing the speed limit actually would have quite an impact on cutting emissions. If you look at the missions for motor vehicles, once you start driving faster than 70 mph, and I don’t suppose there are many people in this room who don’t occasionally drive faster than 70 mph, even if we just enforced the speed limit it would make quite a difference.





In this 2009 Environmental Audit Committee Report (includes Nick Hurd and Tim Yeo)

On page 24 Tim Yeo declares an interest as Chair of Eco City Vehicles





Asheem Singh, Director of Policy and Strategy Asheem joins Impetus after a four-year career in Westminster, where he worked for a number of public elected officials including Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd.


Article with Boris and Nick Hurd as members of ‘the green chip club’ 2005






The lower photo of the Bullingdon Club shows 2 people blacked out. It begs the question who are they and why?

I have just realised the connection between Tim Yeo and Boris which has probably allowed for the corruption to take place.

Nick Hurd

After Eton College and graduating from Oxford University, where he was a member of the Bullingdon Club as were David Cameron and Boris Johnson,[

he worked as Chief of Staff to Tim Yeo MP, who at the time was Shadow Secretary of State for Environment and Transport



So we have Nick Hurd as a member of the Bullingdon Club, the corrupt society which see’s privileged members help each other out and of which Boris Johnson is also a member.

We then have Nick working as Chief of Staff to Tim Yeo.

An improper Age Limit for Taxis is then initiated by Tim Yeo and implemented by Boris which serves no purpose other than to create revenue for Tim Yeos company.

This is blatant and utter corruption and should be exposed.


What has been  written is the tip of the iceberg. Please see the information below about his involvement with Boris Johnson to implement an Age Limit for London Taxis on false premise of to reduce emissions (which the Department of Transport advised against).  Mr Yeo initiated this improper Age Limit which will not reduce emissions and has put drivers out of work, and he is also the Chairman of Eco City Vehicles , the company selling the new taxis that drivers are being forced to buy at nearly £40k.

It is absolutely a conflict of interest yet no one has taken any action; complaints to the Parliamentary Standards Commission have been ignored