Oxford aims to be world's first zero-emissions city

Petrol diesel ban UK

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.

Oxford City and County Councils will ban petrol and diesel vehicles from the city centre under new measures created to dramatically decrease the city's carbon emissions.

As vehicle technology develops, the zero-emission zone would extend to all vehicle types across the whole city centre by 2035.

The city centre now has illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide in its air, which contributes to diseases including cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease.

According to the council, the new zero-emissions zone has the potential to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide, - much of which comes from traffic fumes especially from diesel engines, by 74 percent by 2035.

Over the last decade, Oxford says it has reduced NO2 levels by almost 37 percent, but council member John Tanner told The Telegraph that a ban is "urgently needed".

The city council has already begun to prepare for the Zero Emissions Zone, having secured £500,000 of Government funding to install charging points for electric taxis and a further £800,000 to install 100 EV charging points for regular motorists.

If the timetable sticks, Oxford will take the title of the world's first Zero Emissions Zone.

Britain has said it will ban the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars from 2040, replicating plans by France and the mayors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens, who aim to ban diesel vehicles from their city centres by 2025.

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 needs to do their bit – from national government and local authorities to businesses and residents – to end this public health emergency.”.

The councils have acknowledged that more funding will be required to implement these new measures. Other schemes such as reduced parking fees for EVs and electric delivery vehicle-only loading areas are under consideration, the City Council said.

Oxfordshire county councillor Yvonne Constance said: "We want to hear from everyone who uses the city centre - including businesses, bus and taxi firms and local residents - so that we get the fullest possible picture".

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