Oxford plans to become world's first Zero Emission Zone

GETTYOxford will be the first place in the UK to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles

GETTYOxford will be the first place in the UK to ban all petrol and diesel vehicles

The government has already announced its plans for all conventional petrol and diesel new cars to be banned from 2040, meaning new vehicles would have to be hybrid or fully-electric.

In banning all internal combustion engine vehicles, the city is establishing what it says is the first zero-emissions zone in the world.

Oxford city councillor John Tanner said: "Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford's residents".

Initially, the city hopes to ban gas and diesel cars, taxis, and buses from six streets in the college town's historical center by 2020. Over 40,000 deaths a year in the United Kingdom are caused by air pollution according to a 2016 report by the Royal College of Physicians and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

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The Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council put forward their proposal for a Zero Emission Zone in the Oxford city center on Wednesday in an attempt to yield "historic reductions in air pollution".

According to The Evening Standard the proposed ban is in response to air pollution in city being pretty ugly.

The zone will be gradually widened to include more streets and further vehicle types until 2035 when all emitting vehicles, including trucks, will be banned from the center.

"All of us who drive or use petrol or diesel vehicles through Oxford are contributing to the city's toxic air".

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The full Zero Emission Zone Feasibility and Implementation Study is available on the Oxford City Council website, and the public consultation will be available from Monday 16 October.

The Zero Emission Zone proposals would cut the nitrogen dioxide level in Oxford city centre's most polluted street, George Street, by 74% by 2035, bringing it well below the legal limit, the authorities claim. "Everyone who uses Oxford centre has the right to breathe clean air".

A proposal headed to the Oxford City Council has four stages that would culminate in a city free of vehicular emissions by 2035. "We need to know, in detail, what people's needs are, so that we can plan a Zero Emission Zone that minimises impact on business and residents while maximising impact on the city's health". Tell us what you think in the comments area below!

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