Oxford to ban polluting cars in 'world's first' zero emissions zone

Jerome Frank
October 15, 2017

It's worth noting that whether people are eager to accept the Oxford ZEZ or not, the national government has already announced that the United Kingdom will ban the sale of all fossil fuel cars starting in 2040; the final roll-out of the ZEZ will be only five years before that anyway.

Oxford is set to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles from the city centre, becoming what officials believe will be the world's first Zero Emission Zone. "Everyone needs to do their bit - from national government and local authorities, to businesses and residents - to end this public health emergency", he added.

After German carmaker Volkswagen in 2015 admitted to cheating United States emissions tests, politicians around the world have been pushing plans to clamp down on diesel vehicles in order to improve air quality and meet more stringent targets.

None of this is to say that Oxford's intention to create a zero-emissions zone isn't well-intentioned.

"The County and City together are proposing a staged Zero Emission Zone from 2020 in the city centre, with additional measures to bring down chronic pollution in St Clement's Street, High Street and St Aldate's". City officials announced a "Zero Emission Zone" that bans emitting vehicles from entering part of Oxford city center from 2020.

In George Street, the city's most polluted area, NO2 emissions could be reduced by as much as 74 percent under the new plans. To date, the Government has provided Oxford Ā£1.3m to install charging points for electric taxis and cars.

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Oxford could be the first "zero emission zone" in the UK.

The plans will be put out for public consultation on Monday 16 October, a process that will last six weeks seeking views on the speed of the implementation, vehicles types and roads affected.

Going forward, it will need to be supported with further funding to install more electric vehicle charging infrastructure in Oxford.

The zero-emissions zone plan will be implemented gradually. "We know that the future is electric vehicles with no tailpipe emissions; this is the beginning of a revolution in bus travel".

But if Oxford's zone doesn't have a tangible impact on the city's deadly air pollution levels until at 2025, then it'll be more sham than saviour. "However, zero emission bus and coach technology is still evolving so we will work with the City Council to identify the possible solutions for Oxford and the time frame in which they might be able to be deployed".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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