Oxford could ban diesel and petrol vehicles from its city centre from 2020 under what’s believed to be the world’s first Zero Emission Zone.
The proposal by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council would see a ban introduced in phases, with plans to exclude all vehicles, including HGVs, that are not zero emission by 2035. This would cut the nitrogen dioxide level in the city’s most polluted street, George Street, by 74% to fall under legal limits.
The plans – which open for consultation next Monday 16 October – would apply from 2020 for all non-electric taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles and buses in specific part of the city centre, which would expand to wider areas by 2025 and 2030 and also include HGVs from 2035.
Councillor John Tanner of Oxford city council 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 emissions 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.”