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Oxford moots city centre petrol and diesel ban from 2020

Oxford moots city centre petrol and diesel ban from 2020

The proposals would see the ban being rolled out slowly, starting with all petrol and diesel cars, taxis and buses being excluded from six streets in 2020.

The world-first proposal was created because, according to the city council, the Oxford city centre has illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air.

Whilst London is rolling out an “ultra low emission zone”, which will see the most gas-guzzling vehicles pay daily charges to enter the city centre from 2020, Oxford's “Zero Emission Zone” will ban emitting vehicles from entering part of the city centre from that date.

A six-week public consultation will be held from the 16 October to the 26 November to gain feedback from the public concerning the zero-emissions proposal.

Councillor John Tanner of Oxford city council expressed the city's endorsement of this eco-friendly change: "Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford's residents..." 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. "Everyone needs to do their bit, from the national government and local authorities to businesses and residents, to end this public health emergency".

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From 2025, non-zero emission taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles and buses would be excluded from roads including New Road, the southern part of Worcester Street, George Street, Magdalen Street, Magdalen Street East, Pembroke Street, Speedwell Street, Norfolk Street and Castle Street.

'This will also mean that local residents who have invested in cleaner hybrid vehicles will now be targeted, which seems both unfair and an unwelcome disincentive as the use of these vehicles should be being encouraged'. The proposed plan would call for non-electric vehicles to be banned entirely from the Oxford city center by 2035. It is hoped these improvements to infrastructure will support the introduction of the Zero Emission Zone.

However, as the plans are due to be gradually rolled out over 18 years, the council has pointed out that there's plenty of time to budget, with the majority of the cost taken up by the second half of the plan.

The modelling underpinning the zero emission zone proposals comes from a new study, which was commissioned jointly by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council, and was carried out by Ricardo Energy & Environment. We know that there will be a wide variety of views and we want hear them all. These measures are aimed at reducing traffic and congestion in the city and would improving air quality.


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