Oxford City Council has published final draft proposals for the Oxford Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ).
In conjunction with Oxfordshire County Council, these proposals are another step in the introduction of the UK’s first ZEZ; in Oxford, the proposed Red Zone is a major step in the plan to tackle the issues surrounding air pollution, helping to decrease the health risks for those living and working around the city.
The ZEZ will also help to improve the air quality in towns and villages across the county because the public transport options will serve these areas as well as the city.
An informal consultation has been launched on the draft final scheme for the Red Zone, which includes the chance to comment on enforcement arrangements, which could begin before the end of the year.
The Zero Emission Zone will tackle the climate emergency, something that many of the other cities in the UK are aware of and are planning to combat.
The Red Zone is considered in these proposals, which will cover a small area of the city and will come into force for all vehicles in December 2020; a Green Zone is proposed for introduction in 2021/22, covering the rest of the city centre, but will be accessible for free by zero emission vehicles, and those vehicles complying with the London Ultra Low Emission Zone standards will benefit from discounted charges.
Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council, said: “202 will be a crunch year for our climate and all our futures. We face a climate emergency that threatens all of our futures.
“For the sake of everyone in Oxford, and especially our children’s lungs, we must clean up the lethal air we’re all breathing.
“Oxford’s Zero Emission Zone will come into force this year and help make 2020 the year we make a game-changing difference.”
The informal consultation will end on 31 January; it will go into formal consultation in March and a formal decision on implementation will be made in spring.