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  • Writer's pictureRicha Shetty

Oxford outlines its Plan to become UK’s first Zero- Vehicle Emission City

Oxford is set to become the first city in the UK to introduce a Zero Emission Zone, which will ban petrol and diesel vehicles from entering the city center in order to reduce pollution.

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council jointly have published final draft proposals for the ZEZ, which is expected to introduce by the end of the year. The new proposals outline a Red Zone, which covers a small area of the city center and will start from December 2020 for all vehicles and it also outlines a Green Zone covering the rest of the city center in 2021/22, which would be accessed for free by zero-emission vehicles and with discounted charges for vehicles which comply with the London Ultra Low Emission Zone standards. Read more about the Top 10 Winter Tips To Prepare Your Vehicles in US, Canada & UK

Oxford outlines its Plan to become UK’s first Zero-Emission City

How will the City Operate:

Both the Red and Green Zones will operate alongside each other and could involve a charging scheme with daily charges for high emission vehicles. Currently, proposals will ban all non-zero-emission vehicles from entering the red zone between 7 am and 7 pm, with a £10 charge for non-compliant vehicles entering the zone and there will be a 90% discount for residents living in the zone until December 2030, including vans and HGVs which are delivering goods and services to local businesses. Read more about the Top 6 Trends in Green Driving Habits

The inevitable response from the trade associations was that it was unfair to penalize operators when there were no compliant models available in those vehicle segments.

Hayes is dismissive of such suggestions: “It’s a zero-emission zone within a 12-hour period – you can shift your deliveries outside of that. We’ve seen businesses make even bigger changes to respond to the pandemic.” To read further about What is the Future of Insurance Telematics in the UK?

Communication with local companies has helped the council to gain their trust in delivering the red zone, taking their concerns into consideration. This will be even more important when the zone extends to the green zone in 2021/22.

The move will be “sensitive to business considerations, but not defined by them”, Hayes says. “We will reflect on the hours of operation, whether they are seven-to-seven, and the vehicle types that are best responding to the red zone. It's important to incorporate learning and not just rush in to have a clear air zone or zero emissions.”

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