Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Oxford to set up world's first zero emissions zone

Oxford to set up world's first zero emissions zone

City officials announced a "Zero Emission Zone" that bans emitting vehicles from entering part of Oxford city center from 2020.

Initially, the city hopes to ban gas and diesel cars, taxis, and buses from six streets in the college town's historical center by 2020.

Oxford has recently won £500,000 of Government funding to install charging points for electric taxis, as well as a further £800,000 for residential electric vehicle charging points, but the council says more will be needed to support the zero emissions zone.

Oxford city centre now has illegally high levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which contributes to diseases and contributes to around 40,000 deaths in the United Kingdom every year.

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.

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

Banning approximately 99% of all current vehicles from key central streets of Oxford in less than three years' time will cause significant headaches for bus and taxi companies, let alone delivery companies and personal drivers. "We know that the future is electric vehicles with no tailpipe emissions; this is the beginning of a revolution in bus travel".


The proposed Zero Emissions Zone will be introduced in phases.

The City Council recognises the need for further funding to install EV charging infrastructure in the city.

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.

"All of us who drive or use petrol or diesel vehicles through Oxford are contributing to the city's toxic air".

You can read the complete Press Release with the list of all the roads that will be affected here, and the Zero Emissions Zone Feasibility Study here. All of our fleet was upgraded to at least Euro 5 standard for the introduction of the Low Emission zone in 2014, and today we already have 70 Euro 6 vehicles, as well as 90 vehicles with hybrid systems fitted.

Councillor Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council cabinet member for environment, 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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