Oxford to Implement a Zero-Emissions Zone

According to proposals set out by Oxford city council and Oxfordshire county council, Oxford is initially planning to prohibit all petrol and diesel vehicles from the city centre's streets, including cars, taxis and buses.

The City of Oxford in England has introduced plans to create the world's first Zero Emission Zone, taking a jump on local rival and neighbor London by introducing its restrictions at the beginning of 2020. In 2015, the council says levels were at 152.5 per cent of the legal maximum for NO2.

According to The Evening Standard the proposed ban is in response to air pollution in city being pretty disgusting. 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.

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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 lorries, will be banned from the centre.

Oxford is the first council to introduce plans of this nature, though the council has said that the proposals are "contingent on technology being sufficiently developed to allow this to be practical".

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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..."

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. The furthest mayor Sadiq Khan has gone so far is to propose an Ultra Low Emissions Zone in central London, which would charge motorists of the most polluting cars more to enter the city.

Oxford isn't the only European city to step up its "clean air" policy game, however. "Everyone needs to do their bit - from national Government and local authorities, to businesses and residents - to end this public health emergency". Tell us what you think in the comments area below!

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