Oxford City council is on course to be the first local authority in the UK to set a target for the reduction of harmful air pollution. Its Air Quality Action Plan outlined 30 actions it will take with its partners to bring down emissions across the city by 2025 at the latest.

It believes it will reach its target, which is below the legal limits set by the government, largely by introducing the Zero Emission Zone and the Connecting Oxford scheme which both aim to reduce the number of cars on the roads. The pilot for the road user charging ZEZ scheme begins in August.

Councillor Tom Hayes, deputy leader and cabinet member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, said: “We all have a right to breathe clean air. However, harmful levels of air pollution are harming people’s health and cutting lives short, with poorer and more disadvantaged people disproportionately affected. ”

Other measures include public education, encouraging the use of low and zero emission vehicles and reducing the effects of domestic heating, industry and services. It will also look at reducing the need to travel and promote sustainable transport. Overall since 2013 pollution has gone down by 26 per cent in the city but since 2017 it has plateaud. The Low Emission Zone, which requires buses to meet greener standards, is predicted to cut bus emissions by almost half at St Clement's, Oxford's most polluted street.