DRIVERS of certain cars will have to pay £10 a day to drive on some streets in the city centre from later this year.

Anyone who does not obey the rules could be fined up to £120.

Those are two of the proposals in the final plan for Oxford's UK-first Zero Emissions Zone (ZEZ) being unveiled today.

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A new 'Red Zone' at the heart of the plan would charge drivers £10 a day to enter from 7am to 7pm all week.

That is unless they are using zero-emissions vehicles like electric cars, or vehicles which emit less than 50 grams of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre, in which case they can use the zone for free.

Oxford Mail:

The plan aims to cut pollution, with morning rush hour road traffic in Oxford pumping out 50 tonnes of CO2 every day, according to recent research.

Streets within the proposed Red Zone include Ship Street, St Michael’s Street, New Inn Hall Street, Queen Street, Cornmarket and Bonn Square.

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There will be discounts for all blue badge holders and exemptions for businesses registered in the Red Zone until December 2024.

Residents living within the area will receive a 90 per cent discount until 2030.

The partnership between Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Councils is lead by county councillor Yvonne Constance and city councillor Tom Hayes.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Hayes, who is cabinet member for zero carbon Oxford, said they were both ‘really proud to be announcing this zone’.

He added: “Our two councils have taken a fresh look at the big idea of charging commuters to drive polluting vehicles in and out of the city centre.

“Local government isn’t prepared to delay action.

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“Our two councils are working together to enhance lives here in Oxford and across the market towns and villages of Oxfordshire.”

A survey carried out in 2019 showed that about 1,600 vehicles enter the Red Zone every day, with 80 per cent of them powered by diesel.

The two councils are today opening an informal public consultation on their plans for the Red Zone.

Oxford Mail:

CEO Kyle Grant and COO Thomas de Wilton of OXWASH, who collaborated with Oxford City Council for the ZEZ proposal

That will run until Friday, January 31, and the proposals will then go to formal consultation in March.

A formal decision on implementation is then due later in the spring.

This means the scheme could come into effect as early as December this year.

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Councils will be looking for feedback on the proposed charges, discounts and hours of operation for the charging scheme.

The next major stage of the ZEZ process will be to draw up final plans for a wider 'Green Zone' covering the rest of the city centre by 2022, which would be accessed for free by zero-emission vehicles and with discounted charges for residents.

Cabinet member for environment Ms Constance confirmed that city and county councils’ vehicles that do no comply with the restrictions will also be penalised.

See the consultation online at