The World's First Zero Emissions Zone Could be Coming in 2035

Proposals will almost halve nitrogen dioxide pollution by 2020 on some of Oxford’s most polluted roads

Proposals will almost halve nitrogen dioxide pollution by 2020 on some of Oxford’s most polluted roadsAlamy

The 2020 ruling would see all petrol and diesel cars, taxis, light commercial vehicles and buses banned from a small area of downtown.

A proposal headed to the Oxford City Council has four stages that would culminate in a city free of vehicular emissions by 2035.

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 council, the new zero-emissions zone has the potential to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide, - much of which comes from traffic fumes especially from diesel engines, by 74 percent by 2035.

The Councils are taking other measures to help residents and visitors lower emissions.

Councillor John Tanner, Oxford city council executive board member for a clean and green Oxford, said: "Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford's residents".

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.

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. "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". A move to ban all non-EVs across the city will follow in 2035, five years before the Government plans to ban sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles nationwide. "Everyone needs to do their bit - from national Government and local authorities, to businesses and residents - to end this public health emergency".

Oxford will also introduce reduced parking fees for electric vehicles and electric-taxi ranks.

The zero-emissions zone plan will be implemented gradually. Everyone who uses Oxford centre has the right to breathe clean air. The surprise news came after Sadiq Khan announced that London will have the world's first Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in 2019 - a year ahead of schedule. The next phase of the plan will involve a more comprehensive ban, which will usher in the zero-emissions zone in its entirety.

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