PETROL and diesel vehicles could be banned from Oxford city centre by 2020.

Proposals from Oxfordshire County Council aimed at cutting air pollution would see only electric vehicles allowed in the city centre, with the policy to be enforced across the whole city by 2035.

But the plans for a zero emission zone have been criticised by Oxford City Council board member for environment John Tanner, who described them as unworkable.

The county council will vote on Local Transport Plan Four, which contains the proposals, at a meeting on September 8.

Mr Tanner said: “If it means only electric cars in the city centre by 2020 it is a nonsense.

“It would be chaotic for Oxford.”

Last year the average hourly level of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide in Oxford High Street was 47 micrograms in each cubic metre of air.

This was above the government's target of 40 micrograms.