Oxford plans to introduce world's first zero-emission zone

GETTYOxford will be the first place in the UK to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles

GETTYOxford will be the first place in the UK to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles

The university city of Oxford has unveiled plans to ban petrol and diesel cars from its centre as part of the most radical set of proposals so far in Britain to curb pollution. By 2025 another eight streets will be added, including Oxford's busiest road, George Street. Clement's, and St Aldate's also all broke the European Union regulation limit.

However, the proposal for a zero emission zone relies on technology being sufficiently developed to allow this to be practical.

Oxford's intent is to significantly reduce harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels. "A step change is urgently needed; the zero emissions zone is that step change", Councillor John Tanner of Oxford city council said. The Council's action is certainly a step in the right direction towards protecting the long-term well-being of the City's residents.

It has been calculated that this would take air pollution levels in Oxford city centre down to near-background levels.

The world-first proposal was created because, according to the city council, the Oxford city centre has illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the air. 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.

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

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

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". More recently, Transport for London announced an extension of their current low-emissions zone to become and ultra-low emission zone from 2020.

The Green Party's delegation in Oxford City Council had a mixed response to the announcement.

And on these roads, the council admits in its planning document, "there is very little traffic" with "very few emissions" and the ban "would potentially have little overall effect on air quality".

Last year, the roundabout between Magdalen Bridge and Cowley Road was found to be the second-most unsafe for cyclists in Britain, with 45 serious accidents between 2011 and 2015.

Hyundai ix35 (Tucson) gasoline vehicle parked in electric-car charging spot, Oxford Services, U.K.

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