A CITY-wide plan to reduce air pollution could be the first of its kind in the UK.

Oxford City Council wants to adopt an ambitious target to reduce different kinds of air pollution in the city.

While the Government calls on all councils to make sure air pollution is limited to 40 micrograms of harmful Nitrogen Oxides per meter cubed, the council is hoping to set a target of 30 micrograms.

It hopes to meet this by the year 2025, because research has shown that the official limit is still harmful for people breathing in polluted air.

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The council's deputy leader Tom Hayes said he believed it was the first time an authority had set a stricter target to reduce emissions than the government as part of a document called an Air Quality Action Plan.

Mr Hayes said: “Through the city council’s measures we have helped to reduce the most concerning air pollutant by 26 per cent over the last seven years. We need to go further and faster to clean air and stronger public health—as such Oxford City Council is setting a new Air Quality Action Plan which, for the first time, sets a target for the reduction of air pollution, indeed a significantly stricter target than the Government’s own target.

He added: "By setting a stricter target than the Government’s own target, we believe we are doubling down on our commitment to clean air, public health, and social justice.”

The council monitors NO2, which is emitted into the air by cars burning fossil fuels like diesel and petrol, as well as other pollutants called particulate matter, which are tiny pieces of soot and dust from vehicles.

A report the council commissioned earlier this year found buses were responsible for the most pollutants on the Oxford street with the worst air quality: St Clements.

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It also said cars are responsible for most emissions on Worcester Street and Botley Road.

The city council said its plan to limit harmful Nitrogen Oxides will be challenging but doable if plans for a Zero Emissions Zone and new electric buses are brought in.

Since 2013 the council has monitored air quality in the city, and has seen a steady reduction in harmful polluting particles.

But last year, air pollution in the city rose again, largely thought to be due to unusual cold weather preventing particles from flowing away.

The city's Green Party has welcomed the news of the strict target, but said Oxford needed 'action now' on the delayed Zero Emissions Zone.

The council's scrutiny committee will discuss the new Air Quality Action Plan on September 1.