Oxford city centre to become world's first Zero Emissions Zone by 2020

City centre traffic

Oxford city centre to become world's first Zero Emissions Zone by 2020

Oxford City Council also declared that it would be the first zone of its type in the world. The Oxford plans would beat that date by five years, but it's the earlier stages from 2020 to 2030 that are likely to cause the most difficulty.

Parts of Oxford city centre are failing to meet the EU's legal air pollution limit, with average nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels falling by just 3.9% between 2014 and 2016. "Everyone needs to do their bit, from the national government and local authorities to businesses and residents, to end this public health emergency".

Environmental groups have described the proposed Zero Emissions Zone for Oxford city centre as not enough, even as Green Party councilors and Oxford Friends of the Earth have both demanded more action and sooner.

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.

According to Reuters, starting in 2020, taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles and buses which are non zero-emission, will be banned from six streets in the city center.

From Monday 16 October to Sunday 26 November 2017, we will be holding a public consultation on these proposals.

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.

The zero-emissions zone plan will be implemented gradually.

"I would urge everyone who uses Oxford city centre to take part in the consultation".

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. The ban would reduce those levels by as much as a 74 percent. "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". "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". These measures are aimed at reducing traffic and congestion in the city and would improving air quality.

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