The city council, along with Oxfordshire County Council has published updated proposals on the ZEZ after 15 months of consultation with businesses, residents, transport operators and health professionals.
The proposals, first suggested in a joint vision in 2017, aim for zero transport emissions in the city by 2035. It will be one of the earliest of its kind in the world.
The councils propose that from 2020 all non-zero emission vehicles could be banned during certain hours from parking or loading on public roads in an inner zone, while a wider zone will require buses to have clean ‘Euro 6’ engines.
Citywide standards for taxi emissions will apply from 2020 and get stricter in the ensuing years. All vehicles will have to have zero emissions by 2035.
Further consultation will be held this year and a final decision on the introduction of the ZEZ is subject to approval by councillors at both city and county councils.
Councillor Tom Hayes, Oxford City Council executive board member for A Safer and Greener Environment, said: “Oxford's pioneering approach to cleaning up polluted air and saving lives takes a leap forward with the development of our zero emission zone.
“Our councils are united in the common cause of driving down toxic and harmful emissions because we care about the health of Oxfordshire and we’re listening to the staggering response to our joint public consultation.
“I’m excited by Oxford’s bold journey to zero. Our Hackney taxi fleet will be transformed from being nought per cent zero-emissions-capable to 100 per cent over the next five years.
“From next year, under the proposals, only zero-emission vehicles will be able enter the city centre to park and load when our streets will be at their busiest.
“And we’re considering strengthening our original plans by banning heavy goods vehicles when footfall in the city centre will be highest because they contribute nearly a fifth of harmful emissions.
“Oxford is proud to be leading the way to zero emissions for cities like London, Paris, and Madrid.”
Source: Thames Valley Property No 147 (tvproperty.co.uk).
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