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Oxford to ban polluting cars in 'world's first' zero emissions zone
13 October 2017, 06:29 | Kelvin Horton
Proposals will almost halve nitrogen dioxide pollution by 2020 on some of Oxford’s most polluted roadsAlamy
Councillor John Tanner of Oxford city council said: "Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford's residents". The next phase of the plan will involve a more comprehensive ban, which will usher in the zero-emissions zone in its entirety.
The affected areas will expand further in 2025 and 2030 where the latter will see a city entirely rid of petrol and diesel vehicles excluding HGVs, which will be banned in 2035.
Everyone needs to do their bit from national government and local authorities to businesses and residents to end this public health emergency..
The university city of Oxford has unveiled plans to ban petrol and diesel cars from its centre as part of the most radical set of proposals so far in Britain to curb pollution.
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. They have won £500,000 of Government funding to install charging points for electric taxis and £800,000 of Government funding to install 100 electric vehicle charging points for Oxford residents to support the implementation of the Zero Emission Zone.
The City Council is also considering setting up additional schemes to support the Zero Emission Zone, including offering reduced parking fees for electric vehicles, electric taxi-only ranks and electric delivery vehicle-only loading areas.
Oxford isn't the only European city to step up its "clean air" policy game, however.
"I would urge everyone who uses Oxford city centre to take part in the consultation".
The zero-emissions zone plan will be implemented gradually. Traditionally, though, Oxford is an environmentally aware city, so the proposal is expected to face less opposition than the capital's upcoming T-Charge.
Leeds City Council Councillor Richard Lewis heralded the move as the start of a "revolution in bus travel".
Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council launched a low emission zone in Oxford city centre in 2014. 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. These measures are aimed at reducing traffic and congestion in the city and would improving air quality.
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