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13 October 2017, 06:26 | Cesar Cruz
GETTYAnyone caught filling the city with pollution will be handed an estimated £60 fine
Taxis, cars, light commercial and buses will be restricted access to a small number of streets in 2020, before the 2035 ban of all vehicle types across the whole city centre.
In the first stage of its plans from 2020, taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles and buses which are non zero-emission, will be banned from six streets in the city centre, including near the world-famous Oxford Union debating society.
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.
Over the last decade, Oxford says it has reduced NO2 levels by almost 37 percent, but council member John Tanner told The Telegraph that a ban is "urgently needed".
A six-week public consultation will be held from the 16 October to the 26 November to gain feedback from the public concerning the zero-emissions proposal.
However, the proposal for a zero emission zone relies on technology being sufficiently developed to allow this to be practical. A move to ban all non-EVs across the city will follow in 2035, five years before the Government plans to ban sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles nationwide.
From 2025, non-zero emission taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles and buses would be excluded from roads including New Road, the southern part of Worcester Street, George Street, Magdalen Street, Magdalen Street East, Pembroke Street, Speedwell Street, Norfolk Street and Castle Street. The City Council is looking for funding for more battery charging infrastructure.
The city council has already begun to prepare for the Zero Emissions Zone, having secured £500,000 of Government funding to install charging points for electric taxis and a further £800,000 to install 100 EV charging points for regular motorists. Other schemes such as reduced parking fees for EVs and electric delivery vehicle-only loading areas are under consideration, the City Council said. The next phase of the plan will involve a more comprehensive ban, which will usher in the zero-emissions zone in its entirety. Everyone who uses Oxford centre has the right to breathe clean air.
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