City and county councils n Oxford have submitted joint proposals to introduce a Zero Emission Zone in Oxford city centre. They say it would be the first of its kind in the world, and could lead to “historic” reductions in air pollution
Oxford city council and Oxfordshire county council have put forward a proposal to introduce a Zero Emission Zone in Oxford city centre. They believe it would be the world’s first.
The Zero Emission Zone proposals ban emitting vehicles from Oxford city centre in phases, beginning with certain vehicle types and a small number of streets in 2020. As vehicle technology develops, it would move to all vehicle types across the whole city centre in 2035.
Representatives of the councils said it would take air pollution levels in Oxford city centre down to near-background levels. In the city centre’s most polluted street, George Street for example, a 74 per cent reduction in toxic nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels is expected by 2035.
On Monday (16 October), the city and county councils will launch a six-week public consultation on the proposals – gathering views on the speed of the implementation, and the vehicle types and roads affected. The final scheme will be published next year.
Councillor John Tanner, Oxford city council executive board member for A Clean and Green Oxford, said: “Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford’s residents. A step change is urgently needed; the Zero Emission Zone is that step change.
“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.”