Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council are proposing to introduce the world’s first ‘Zero Emission Zone’ in Oxford city centre.
The latest proposal on cracking down on emissions within city centres comes from Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council. The Zero Emission Zone proposal would see diesel and petrol vehicles banned from entering certain parts of Oxford city centre, but will be rolled out in phases.
The start would be singling out certain vehicle types and only implementing the ban on a small number of streets in 2020. But as vehicle technology develops, the ban would move over to all vehicle types across the whole city centre in 2035.
Oxford city centre currently has illegally-high levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide, which contributes to diseases including cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease – and contributes to around 40,000 deaths in the UK every year.
The Zero Emission Zone proposals would cut the nitrogen dioxide level in Oxford city centre’s most polluted street, George Street, by 74% by 2035 – bringing it well below the legal limit.
The councils are seeking responses from everyone who uses the city centre – including businesses, fleet operators and local residents – to help shape the final scheme, which will be published next year.
The zero emission zone proposals would see: non-zero emission taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles and buses excluded from Queen Street, Cornmarket Street, New Inn Hall Street, Market Street, Ship Street and St Michael’s Street from 2020.
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.
From 2030, non-zero emission taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles and buses would be excluded from all roads within Hollybush Row, Hythe Bridge Street, Worcester Street, Beaumont Street, St Giles’, part of Parks Road, South Parks Road, St Cross Road, Longwall Street, Merton Street, Blue Boar Street, St Aldate’s and Thames Street.
Finally, from 2035 all non-zero-emission vehicles, including HGVs, would be excluded from within the above area.
However, the proposal for a zero emission zone relies on technology being sufficiently developed to allow this to be practical.