Oxford City Centre to become Electric Only Zero Emissions Zone

Telegraph

Once LAs start doing this it will become a flood.  Expect within three months Cambridge and Central London to have followed suite.  If your introducing number plate recognition – might as well introduce congestion charging at same time.

Oxford is set to become the first place in the UK to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles from its city centre.

The proposals would see all petrol and diesel taxis, cars and buses excluded from six central streets from 2020.

The area will then be expanded in 2025 and 2030 to encompass the entire city centre, and finally in 2035 HGVs will be banned from the same zone – making it what is thought to be the world’s first Zero Emissions Zone.

On Monday, a six-week public consultation on the proposals will be launched.

Experts say the scheme could cut levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide (NO2) down to near-background levels, with as much as a 74 per cent reduction in one street.

Oxford City Council environment chief John Tanner said the move is “urgently needed”.

Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford’s residents. A step change is urgently needed; the Zero Emission Zone is that step change.Councillor John Tanner

However, it will also cost bus operators, taxi firms, haulage companies and councils an estimated £14m.

Oxford Bus Company, Stagecoach, all taxi firms, other businesses, Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council will have to spend an estimated £7m replacing petrol and diesel vehicles with electric or hybrid.

Even the councils’ bin lorries and gritting vehicles will need to be changed.

The two councils will then need to spend a further £7m on administration and a new CCTV system with automatic number plate recognition to enforce the ban.

Anyone driving a non-electric vehicle in the zone will most likely receive an automatic fine similar to the bus gate fine of £60.

As the zones are being gradually expanded, the councils have said the majority of the cost would be back-loaded to the second half of the next 18 years, giving time to budget.

The city council said the zone would “need to be supported with further funding” from government, with bids expected in due course.

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