THE final chance for people to have a say in plans to charge drivers for taking fossil fuel burning cars through the middle of Oxford is coming to an end.

The charge for driving through the planned Zero Emissions Zone is a similar concept to the congestion charge in central London, but it is aimed at tackling air pollution instead of traffic jams.

Under the scheme, most petrol and diesel cars would face a charge of £4 a day for entering the zone between 7am and 7pm.

Before the scheme's pilot begins on August 1, the two public bodies promoting it - Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council - have called for people to take part in the final week of consultation on it.

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A survey about the ZEZ closes this Sunday, January 17.

Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for the environment at Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Not only will this project make a difference to the quality of life and health of people living and working in the city centre, we are showing that change is possible as we start to respond seriously with climate action. We can look forward to a city that will be a healthier and cleaner place for all. To get us there, it is important to understand public views on the latest proposals for the pilot zone and I would like to encourage all residents to have their say."

Tom Hayes, cabinet member for zero carbon Oxford at Oxford City Council, added: “Now, as we are over half-way through the final consultation on the ZEZ pilot, we want to remind residents that this is their opportunity to share their views on the proposals. I encourage everyone to read the latest proposals and share their views.”

Oxford Mail: The full city centre zone in Green, with the pilot zone highlighted in red The full city centre zone in Green, with the pilot zone highlighted in red

The full city centre zone in Green, with the pilot zone highlighted in red

So far, 400 responses have been submitted to the final consultation, after it opened in November.

The pilot zone, which is due to be rolled out from August 1, includes only a few streets in the city centre, most of which are pedestrianised.

A larger area covering the whole city centre will then follow in Spring 2022, which was previously known as the 'Green Zone' in earlier drafts of the plan.

The scheme has already gone through changes because of a previous consultation in January 202, which led the pilot to have 'exactly the same requirements' as the full ZEZ, because of a growing appetite for changes to combat air pollution.

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Discounts are proposed for certain vehicles and road users including residents’ and businesses’ vehicles and Blue Badge holders.

Before the consultation closes, there is still a chance to take part at, by emailing or writing to Zero Emission Zone, Oxfordshire County Council, New Road, Oxford, OX1 1ND.

The results of the consultation will be reported to both councils’ cabinets in March 2021 and will inform their decisions about the scheme.

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