Oxford's 'zero-emissions zone' may be about to ban polluting vehicles
Oxford's 'zero-emissions zone' may be about to ban polluting vehicles
GETTYPetrol and diesel cars will be banned from a major UK city in 2020
12 October, 2017, 20:12
The Zero Emission Zone proposals ban emitting vehicles from Oxford city centre in phases, starting with some vehicle types and a small number of streets in 2020 and, as vehicle technology develops, moves to all vehicle types across the whole city centre in 2035.
The goal is to decrease air pollution in the city.
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.
The proposal would see diesel and petrol vehicles banned from Oxford city centre in phases, starting with some vehicle types and a small number of streets in 2020, potentially moving to all vehicle types across the whole city centre in 2035. Several zones within the city have seen a spike of nitrogen dioxide pollutants that have exceeded the legal limit.
Mr Khan, who is secretary for the the City of Oxford Licensed Taxicab Association (COLTA), said: "We would be required to possibly make huge investment in the only suitable "zero emissions capable" vehicle in production - in the region of £60,000". Between 2011 and 2013, average NO2 levels across the city centre fell by 18.9%; but between 2014 and 2016 they fell by just 3.9%.
According to the city council, Oxford city centre now has illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a leading cause of diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
"All of us who drive or use petrol or diesel vehicles through Oxford are contributing to the city's toxic air", said city council board member John Tanner.
Experts claim that the plan is being introduced could reduce the risky levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) present in the city centre by up to 70 per cent.
Only electric cars will be allowed in what is being called the world's first Zero Emissions Zone.
"This will also mean that local residents who have invested in cleaner hybrid vehicles will now be targeted which seems both unfair and an unwelcome disincentive as the use of these vehicles should be being encouraged".
On Monday, a six-week public consultation will be launched that will look at views on the speed of the implementation, as well as the roads and vehicle types included in the scheme.
Since German carmaker Volkswagen admitted in 2015 to cheating USA emissions tests, politicians around the world have unveiled plans to clamp down on diesel vehicles in a bid to improve air quality and meet more stringent targets.
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