Oxford is progressing with plans for the UK’s first Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) after the city council gave the thumbs-up to a ZEZ pilot scheme.
The ZEZ pilot is the first phase of the Zero Emission Zone and is being planned for an August 2021 introduction, ahead of the possible introduction of a larger Zero Emission Zone covering most of Oxford city centre in 2022.
The pilot scheme has already been greenlit by Oxford City Council’s Cabinet and next week will see Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet have final sign-off on the introduction of the scheme, as the highways authority.
The ZEZ Pilot will restrict polluting vehicles from key city centre streets during the day. Those who drive polluting vehicles into the zone will be charged, with the level of charge dependent on how polluting the vehicle is.
The pilot scheme will allow both councils to gain useful experience and information before introducing the larger Zero Emission Zone, which is expected to use the same restrictions and exemptions.
Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council, said: “Everyone has the right to breathe the cleanest air possible, and we are now taking one of the last remaining steps to ensuring that this can become a reality. We are looking forward to hearing from Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet next week and await their decision on the ZEZ Pilot.”
The ZEZ scheme aims to reduce toxic air pollution levels, help tackle the climate emergency, and improve the health of residents, workers and visitors in Oxford and beyond.
To find out more about the scheme, click here.