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Oxford unveils plans for zero emission zone

13 October 2017, 06:29 | Melvin Schneider

The dreaming spires could soon be the first to benefit from being in a 'Zero Emission Zone'Image Shutterstock elesi

The dreaming spires could soon be the first to benefit from being in a 'Zero Emission Zone'

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.

Oxford has unveiled plans to phase out petrol and diesel vehicles from the city centre with an ultimate aim to deliver a zero-emission zone in 2035. A step change is urgently needed; the new Zero Emission Zone is that step change. The Oxford ZEZ is part of the larger plan throughout the country created to tackle illegal levels of air pollution; many streets in Oxford are past the legal limit set by the European Union for Nitrogen Dioxide.

Experts who back the scheme say it could cut harmful nitrogen dioxide levels by as much as 74 percent in one street, the Telegraph reports.

"Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford's residents".

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On Monday (16 October) the councils will launch a six-week public consultation on the proposals, which they said would take air pollution levels in Oxford city centre down to "near-background levels". Transport for London is aiming to introduce a Ultra-Low Emission Zone in London in September 2020, but Oxford is looking to introduce a Zero Emission Zone at the beginning of 2020 which would ban emitting vehicles from city centers. To date, the Government has provided Oxford £1.3m to install charging points for electric taxis and cars. "Everyone needs to do their bit - from national Government and local authorities, to businesses and residents - to end this public health emergency". A move to ban all non-EVs across the city will follow in 2035, five years before the Government plans to ban sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles nationwide.

The City Council recognises the need for further funding to install EV charging infrastructure in the city. Everyone who uses Oxford centre has the right to breathe clean air.

"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".

The zero-emissions zone plan will be implemented gradually. 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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