Oxford racing ahead of London to become 'world's first zero-emissions zone'

Oxford racing ahead of London to become 'world's first zero-emissions zone'

Oxford city centre is considering becoming the first Zero Emissions Zone (ZEZ) in the world.

New proposals from Oxford city council and Oxfordshire county council could see the city become the first in the United Kingdom to ban petrol and diesel cars from the centre.

The upshot is that it could apparently cut nitrogen dioxide (which is bad) in the area by up to 74%.

Oxford has recently won £500,000 of Government funding to install charging points for electric taxis, as well as a further £800,000 for residential electric vehicle charging points, but the council says more will be needed to support the zero emissions zone.

It all sounds very sensible to us.

Mr Khan, who is secretary for the the City of Oxford Licensed Taxicab Association (COLTA), said: "We would be required to possibly make huge investment in the only suitable "zero emissions capable" vehicle in production - in the region of £60,000".

Despite NO2 levels dropping by 36.9 per cent across Oxford, certain parts of the city centre are still highly polluted.

The zone will be gradually widened to include more streets and further vehicle types until 2035 when all emitting vehicles, including trucks, will be banned from the center.

Confirming this development, John Tanner, Oxford city council cabinet member for environment, said: "Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford's residents". It is hoped these improvements to infrastructure will support the introduction of the Zero Emission Zone.

Only electric cars will be allowed in what is being called the world's first Zero Emissions Zone.

On Monday 16 October the City and County Councils will launch a six-week public consultation on the proposals, seeking views on the speed of the implementation, and the vehicle types and roads affected. "Everyone who uses Oxford centre has the right to breathe clean air".

We await more details about Oxford's zero-emissions zone, which promises to set an earth-friendly example that could help trigger stricter "clean air" policies around the globe.

Tanner has urged everyone who uses the city centre to take part, adding: "We need to know what people's needs are, so that we can plan a Zero Emission Zone that minimises impact on business and residents while maximising impact on the city's health". Tell us what you think in the comments area below!

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