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Oxford to ban polluting cars in 'world's first' zero emissions zone

13 October 2017

The zone will be gradually widened to include more streets and further vehicle types until 2035 when all emitting vehicles, including lorries, will be banned from the centre.

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.

It has been calculated that this would take air pollution levels in Oxford city centre down to near-background levels.

On Monday, a six-week public consultation will be launched that will look at views on the speed of the implementation, as well as the roads and vehicle types included in the scheme. 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". Although the United Kingdom will not be in the European Union by 2020 local councils are planning on the basis of regulations as they now stand.

The goal is to decrease air pollution in the city.

The proposals would see the ban being rolled out slowly, starting with all petrol and diesel cars, taxis and buses being excluded from six streets in 2020.

From 2030, non-zero emission taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles and buses would be excluded from all roads within Hollybush Row, Hythe Bridge Street, Worcester Street, Beaumont Street, St Giles', part of Parks Road, South Parks Road, St Cross Road, Longwall Street, Merton Street, Blue Boar Street, St Aldate's and Thames Street.

From 2035: All non-zero-emission vehicles, including HGVs, excluded from within the above area.

Oxford is the first council to introduce plans of this nature, though the council has said that the proposals are "contingent on technology being sufficiently developed to allow this to be practical". Anyone driving a non-electric vehicle in the zone is likely to be fined £60.

We await more details about Oxford's zero-emissions zone, which promises to set an earth-friendly example that could help trigger stricter "clean air" policies around the globe.

"All of us who drive or use petrol or diesel vehicles through Oxford are contributing to the city's toxic air".

“Everyone needs to do their bit – from national government and local authorities to businesses and residents – to end this public health emergency.”. Oxford plans to create Britain's first "zero-emission zone" by 2020.

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. According to the Oxford Mail, adjusting for the ZEZ would cost city councils, bus operators, haulage companies, and taxi firms approximately £14 million ($18.5 million). All of our fleet was upgraded to at least Euro 5 standard for the introduction of the Low Emission zone in 2014, and today we already have 70 Euro 6 vehicles, as well as 90 vehicles with hybrid systems fitted.

Oxford to ban polluting cars in 'world's first' zero emissions zone