Oxford unveils plans for zero emission zone

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A proposal from the Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council would ban most internal-combustion vehicles from certain areas of the city centre in 2020, ahead of a total city-wide ban in 2035.

Initially, the city hopes to ban gas and diesel cars, taxis, and buses from six streets in the college town's historical center by 2020.

For example in the city centre's most polluted street, George Street, a 74% reduction in toxic nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels is expected by 2035.

“All of us who drive or use petrol or diesel vehicles through Oxford are contributing to the city's toxic air, ” said city council board member John Tanner.


France and Britain already have plans to ban diesel- and gasoline-powered cars by 2040, but cities within the countries have speedier goals. Over the last decade, Oxford says it has reduced NO2 levels by almost 37 percent, but council member John Tanner told The Telegraph that a ban is "urgently needed". "Everyone needs to do their bit - from national Government and local authorities, to businesses and residents - to end this public health emergency". The scheme would unroll gradually with benchmarks to be met every five years starting in 2020 when the innermost ring of the zone would exclude all cars, buses, and taxis that run on fossil fuels.

Driving petrol and diesel cars could soon be a no-go in parts of Oxford, UK.

The proposed Zero Emissions Zone will be introduced in phases.

The councils have acknowledged that more funding will be required to implement these new measures. "We know that the future is electric vehicles with no tailpipe emissions; this is the beginning of a revolution in bus travel".


But not everyone is keen on the idea, as it will involve costs of around £14 million ($18.5m) for taxi firms, bus operators, haulage firms and the council, who will be forced to replace their petrol and diesel vehicles with electric or hybrid ones.

"We support the principle of a Zero Emission Zone in Oxford".

You can read the complete Press Release with the list of all the roads that will be affected here, and the Zero Emissions Zone Feasibility Study here. "Pragmatism will be an important part of anything we plan but we have set the ambition and now we would like to hear people's views on our proposals". The surprise news came after Sadiq Khan announced that London will have the world's first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in 2019 - a year ahead of schedule.


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