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

Purvai Dua

Source: Photoshot

First UK city to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles starting 2020

Just days after London Mayor Sadiq Khan and the City Hall issued a ‘high alert’ for raising pollution levels in the city, it has now emerged that Oxford is planning to become emissions-free and planning to ban all non-electric vehicles in the city starting 2020.

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.

This area will then be expanded twice, in 2025 and 2030, to include the entire city centre, before banning all heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) in 2035.

Read related story: Sadiq Khan cracks whip on wood-burning stoves

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. A step change is urgently needed; the new Zero Emission Zone is that step change.

“All of us who drive or use petro 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,” Tanner added.

Switching to electric and hybrid alternatives will reportedly to cost Oxford city council, Oxfordshire county council, bus companies, taxi firms and other businesses around £7m.

 

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