ALMOST 1,000 readers voted on plans to ban petrol and diesel cars from Oxford City Centre and opinion was split down the middle.

In the scheme, unveiled in October, all petrol and diesel vehicles would gradually be banned from most of the city centre over the next 17 years, starting with six streets in 2020.

The city council and county council are bringing forward the plans and received a positive response to a public consultation.

But an Oxford Mail readers poll revealed opinion was split on the ban.

Of the 981 people who voted, 49 per cent were against it and said it would be detrimental to businesses. - 40 per cent said it was a good idea, and the rest said it should be expanded to cover a wider area around the city centre.

Simon Hall said: "If cars are banned people will go shopping elsewhere and companies will move out. The local economy would suffer greatly."

Iain Rae said: "Yes - people were upset to see expensive combustion engines replace the horse and cart nearly 100 years ago and now we need to move on again with the times."

The public consultation - responded to by 750 people - revealed a number of issues from businesses and those directed impacted by the ban - including deliveries to and from businesses in the zone, access for disabled people and introducing electric buses within the timescale.

Only 28 per cent said the selected city centre zone was appropriate but 45 per cent said it should be larger almost everyone said tackling poor air quality in the city was important.

The local authorities will meet stakeholders again in the new year.