Oxford could be first UK zero-emission city by end of this year15 January 2020

Oxford could become the first UK city to have a zero emission zone (ZEZ), following plans by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council to introduce a ‘red zone’ in the city at the end of this year.

The draft proposals also include a plan for a larger green zone to be introduced in 2021/22, covering the rest of the city centre.

If agreed, the charging scheme for the red zone, pictured, would be in force from 7am to 7pm. Only zero-emission vehicles would be exempt, with a daily charge of £10 for all other vehicles, rising to £20 by December 2024.

Bus operators would not be affected, as they have already agreed timelines for zero-emission fleets across the city.

An informal consultation is underway, with the councils seeking feedback on charging, proposed discounts and hours of operation.

A formal consultation on the red zone will begin in March, with a final decision in the spring.

If the ZEZ is expanded to cover the green zone in 2021/22, this scheme would have separate requirements, including a discounted charge for low-emission Euro VI vehicles.

Laura Cork

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