Smart Transport

Oxford City Council backs zero emission zone pilot

Tom Hayes

Oxford is moving closer to the introduction of a zero emission zone (ZEZ), after the city council gave the green light to a ZEZ pilot this August.

Final sign off on the pilot rests with Oxfordshire County Council, as the highways authority. Its cabinet will meet on Tuesday, March 16.

If approved, Oxford will become one of the first places in the UK to introduce a ZEZ.

The scheme aims to reduce toxic air pollution levels, help tackle the climate emergency, and improve the health of residents, workers and visitors in Oxford and beyond.

Councillor Tom Hayes (pictured), deputy leader and cabinet member for green transport and zero carbon Oxford at Oxford City Council said that he was "thrilled" the cabinet had formally supported the plans. 

“Everyone has the right to breathe the cleanest air possible, and we are now taking one of the last remaining steps to ensuring that this can become a reality," he said. 

“We are looking forward to hearing from Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet next week and await their decision on the ZEZ pilot.”

The ZEZ pilot will restrict polluting vehicles from key city centre streets during the day.

Those who drive polluting vehicles into the zone will be charged, with the level of charge dependent on how polluting the vehicle is.  

The ZEZ Pilot is the first phase of the Zero Emission Zone. It will allow both councils to gain useful experience and information before introducing a larger Zero Emission Zone covering most of Oxford city centre in 2022, subject to further public consultation.

It is intended that the restrictions and exemptions applied within the Pilot will be the same in the expanded ZEZ. 


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