Councillor Tom Hayes, cabinet member for Zero Carbon Oxford at Oxford City Council has declared 2021 a “landmark year in Oxford’s journey to improve air quality and tackle the climate emergency”.
The city is proposing introducing a zero emission zone (ZEZ) pilot this summer, which will create a so-called ‘red zone’ - a small central area of the city which will charge all non-zero-emission vehicles £10 for entering between 7am and 7pm.
This will be followed by a ‘green zone’ in spring 2022, which will cover the rest of the city and offer discounted charges for vehicles that comply with the London ultra-low emission zone.
Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council are currently seeking views from residents, businesses and visitors on the pilot, with the consultation due to close this Sunday, January 17.
So far, 400 responses have been submitted to the consultation since it was launched in November.
Hayes said: “2021 will be a landmark year in Oxford’s journey to improve air quality and tackle the climate emergency.
“After first proposing this scheme in 2017, we have worked closely with Oxfordshire County Council to ensure that the scheme is the strongest it can be, while also listening to the views of residents and businesses.
“We know the impact that air pollution can have on people’s health, and the ZEZ will help us make a difference both in Oxford and beyond."
Councillor Yvonne Constance, cabinet member for environment, Oxfordshire County Council, said: “Tackling air pollution and climate change is a huge priority for Oxfordshire County Council.
“Not only will this project make a difference to the quality of life and health of people living and working in the city centre, we are showing that change is possible as we start to respond seriously with climate action.
“We can look forward to a city that will be a healthier and cleaner place for all.
“To get us there, it is important to understand public views on the latest proposals for the pilot zone and I would like to encourage all residents to have their say."