Oxford's 2020 petrol vehicle ban is a sham

Gladys Abbott
October 14, 2017

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council intend to ban petrol and diesel cars from six key streets in Oxford city centre from 2020, with further bans from 2025 and 2030 before a complete ban for the entire city of Oxford by 2035.

It'll be the first city in the United Kingdom to introduce such a ban, going further than London's Congestion Charge and upcoming T-Charge for high-polluting diesel cars. Other schemes such as reduced parking fees for EVs and electric delivery vehicle-only loading areas are under consideration, the City Council said.

The plan would therefore drop air pollution levels in the Oxford city center down to near-background levels: For example, George Street, which is Oxford City's most polluted street, would experience a 74% reduction in nitrogen dioxide levels by 2035.

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.

The zero emission zone proposals would see: non-zero emission taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles and buses excluded from Queen Street, Cornmarket Street, New Inn Hall Street, Market Street, Ship Street and St Michael's Street from 2020.

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Oxford's zero emission zone will also evolve every five years.

The council has won £500,000 ($847,600) in Government funding to install charge points for electric taxis, and another £800,000 ($1,350,000) to supply 100 charge points for residents ahead of the proposed Zero Emission Zone.

Councillor John Tanner of Oxford city council expressed the city's endorsement of this eco-friendly change: "Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford's residents... Everyone needs to do their bit, from the national government and local authorities to businesses and residents, to end this public health emergency".

"The council would be better placed to first identify those vehicles that are most responsible for creating city pollution rather than simply implementing an outright ban on all non-zero-emissions vehicles from certain streets". Traditionally, though, Oxford is an environmentally aware city, so the proposal is expected to face less opposition than the capital's upcoming T-Charge. 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.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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