Oxford to set up world's first zero emissions zone

Oxford to set up world's first zero emissions zone

The 2020 ruling would see all petrol and diesel cars, taxis, light commercial vehicles and buses banned from a small area of downtown. A step change is urgently needed; the new Zero Emission Zone is that step change.

The world-first proposal was created because, according to the city council, the Oxford city centre has illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air.

Other schemes under consideration to support the zero-emission zone include reduced parking fees for electric vehicles, electric taxi-only ranks and electric delivery vehicle-only loading areas.

Councillor John Tanner of Oxford city council expressed the city's endorsement of this eco-friendly change: "Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford's residents..."

The City and County Council will be holding a six-week consultation period with the public and businesses on how the plans will be implemented. "Everyone needs to do their bit, from the national government and local authorities to businesses and residents, to end this public health emergency".

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Britain has said it will ban the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars from 2040, replicating plans by France and the mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens, who aim to ban diesel vehicles from their city centres by 2025.

"The county and city together are proposing a staged Zero Emission Zone from 2020 in the city centre, with additional measures to bring down chronic pollution in St Clement's Street, High Street and St Aldate's. However, zero emission bus and coach technology is still evolving so we will work with the City Council to identify the possible solutions for Oxford and the time frame in which they might be able to be deployed". The City Council is looking for funding for more battery charging infrastructure.

He said: "It is very pleasing to see this, locally-built, first fully electric and zero emissions bus being trialled in Leeds and we look forward to seeing it in action on our park and ride services".

Oxford isn't the only European city to step up its "clean air" policy game, however. 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.

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