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Oxford is planning to become a zero-emission city

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We await more details about Oxford's zero-emissions zone, which promises to set an earth-friendly example that could help trigger stricter "clean air" policies around the globe.

"The council would be better placed to first identify those vehicles that are most responsible for creating city pollution rather than simply implementing an outright ban on all non-zero-emissions vehicles from certain streets".

On Monday 16 October the City and County Councils will launch a six-week public consultation on the proposals, seeking views on the speed of the implementation, and the vehicle types and roads affected. In 2015, the council says levels were at 152.5 per cent of the legal maximum for NO2. Although the United Kingdom will not be in the European Union by 2020 local councils are planning on the basis of regulations as they now stand.

The goal is to decrease air pollution in the city.

First, there will be a ban in non-zero emissions taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles, and buses, non-allowing them to use a small number of streets in 2020. "We know that the future is electric vehicles with no tailpipe emissions; this is the beginning of a revolution in bus travel".

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Oxford will also introduce reduced parking fees for electric vehicles and electric-taxi ranks.

John Tanner, Councillor of Oxford City Council said: "Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford's residents". A move to ban all non-EVs across the city will follow in 2035, five years before the Government plans to ban sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles nationwide.

“Everyone needs to do their bit – from national government and local authorities to businesses and residents – to end this public health emergency.”. The next phase of the plan will involve a more comprehensive ban, which will usher in the zero-emissions zone in its entirety.

However, as the plans are due to be gradually rolled out over 18 years, the council has pointed out that there's plenty of time to budget, with the majority of the cost taken up by the second half of the plan. Traditionally, though, Oxford is an environmentally aware city, so the proposal is expected to face less opposition than the capital's upcoming T-Charge.

Meanwhile, Transport for London is planning to introduce the world's first Ultra Low Emission Zone in September 2020.

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