AS CITY leaders call on the Government to bring forward a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars, we explain plans for the world's first zero emissions zone (ZEZ). 

Oxford Mail:

What is the zero emissions zone?

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council are proposing to introduce the world’s first zero emission zone in the city centre.

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, and - as vehicle technology develops - moving to all vehicle types across the whole city centre in 2035.

What streets will I be banned from?

The new zone would see all petrol and diesel taxis, cars and buses excluded from six central streets including Queen Street from 2020.

That area will then be expanded in 2025 and 2030 to encompass the entire city centre, including George Street, St Aldate's and most of High Street.

Finally, in 2035, HGVs will be banned from the same zone if the plan goes ahead after a consultation. 

Why do we need a zero emissions zone?

Oxford city centre currently has illegally-high levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide, which contributes to diseases including cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease - and contributes to around 40,000 deaths in the UK every year.

How much would a zero emissions zone help reduce these problems?

The ZEZ proposals would cut the nitrogen dioxide level in Oxford city centre’s most polluted street, George Street, by 74% by 2035 - bringing it well below the legal limit.

How do people feel about the proposals?

Oxford City Council says it wants 'to make the ZEZ work for everyone, and held a consultation on the issue last year. 

In total, 755 individuals and businesses took part in the consultation. Although there was huge support for a ZEZ in Oxford, many concerns were raised.