Polluting traffic could soon be charged for driving into Oxford city centre

A Zero Emission Zone pilot scheme is set for approval in the city.

If Oxford City and Oxfordshire County councils agree to the latest version of the zone then it will start in August, this year.

Oxford would then be one of the first places in the UK to introduce a Zero Emission Zone which attempts to cut the number of vehicles from going into specific city centre streets during the day.

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Drivers using the zone would have to pay a fee or be fined.

Oxford Mail:

The idea of the scheme if to reduce air pollution levels, help tackle the climate emergency and improve the health of people who live, work and enjoy the city.

The pilot will be used on certain busy streets in Oxford before a larger Zero Emission Zone covering most of the city centre will be introduced in 2022.

So far, the councils have held three rounds of public consultation since it the idea was first floated in 2015.

More than 900 people had their say and the results show that residents and business owners are in favour of the idea.

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The city council’s cabinet will discuss the proposals on March 10 and the county council will have the final sign off as the highways authority on March 16.

Councillor Tom Hayes, the deputy leader and cabinet member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, said: “Now, more than ever, we are alive to the importance of good health and wellbeing. Everyone has the right to breathe the cleanest air possible and both councils are moving forward with the introduction of Oxford’s Zero Emission Zone this year. Years of extensive consultation with businesses and citizens have got us to this pivotal point, and this plan reflects their views.”


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