Oxford to become world's first Zero Emissions Zone

GETTYAnyone caught filling the city with pollution will be handed an estimated £60 fine

GETTYAnyone caught filling the city with pollution will be handed an estimated £60 fine

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council have jointly proposed the establishment of a Zero Emission Zone in Oxford City by banning petrol and diesel vehicles ban from parts of the city centre. Taxis, cars, light commercial and buses will be restricted access to a small number of streets in 2020, before the 2035 ban of all vehicle types across the whole city centre. I would urge everyone who uses Oxford city centre to take part in the consultation. Over 40,000 deaths a year in the United Kingdom are caused by air pollution according to a 2016 report by the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

According to the city council, latest monitoring data has found that air pollution appears to have plateaued above the legal limits in some parts of the city. By implementing the two stages of the ZEZ, George Street, Oxford's most polluted street, will reduce its nitrogen dioxide levels by 74 per cent in 2035, placing it below the legal limit.

It also helps that the City Council has already been given £500,000 in government funding to install EV chargers for electric taxis and a further £800,000 for charging points for Oxford residents. "A step change is urgently needed; the Zero Emission Zone is that step change", said Councillor John Tanner, Oxford City Council executive board member for "A Clean and Green Oxford".

Transport for London is planning to introduce the world's first Ultra-Low Emission Zone in the capital in September 2020.

Beginning next week, councils for both the city of Oxford and its county will begin a six-week comment period to gauge the public opinion.

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

Oxford has been classified as one of the eleven cities in the United Kingdom to have surpassed safe limits set for PM10s toxic particles, as well as limits set for PM2.5s. To date, the Government has provided Oxford £1.3m to install charging points for electric taxis and cars.

He said: "It is very pleasing to see this, locally-built, first fully electric and zero emissions bus being trialled in Leeds and we look forward to seeing it in action on our park and ride services".

Leeds City Council Councillor Richard Lewis heralded the move as the start of a "revolution in bus travel". These measures are aimed at reducing traffic and congestion in the city and would improving air quality.

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