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Oxford could have world's first zero emission zone

Oxford could soon have the world's first zero emission zone.

The City and County Council have announced their proposals to only allow electric vehicles in certain areas of the city, starting with some vehicle types and a few streets in 2020 before eventually expanding to include all vehicle types and a larger area of the city centre by 2035.

Councillor John Tanner, Oxford City Council Executive Board Member for A Clean and Green Oxford, said: "Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford's residents. A step change is urgently needed; the Zero Emission Zone is that step change. All of us who drive or use petrol or diesel vehicles through Oxford are contributing to the city's toxic air. Everyone needs to do their bit - from national Government and local authorities, to businesses and residents - to end this public health emergency.

"The County and City together are proposing a staged Zero Emission Zone from 2020 in the city centre, with additional measures to bring down chronic pollution in St Clement's Street, High Street and St Aldate's. Everyone who uses Oxford centre has the right to breathe clean air. I would urge everyone who uses Oxford city centre to take part in the consultation. 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."

The council are now asking for the views of local residents, business owners and those who run public transport in the city.

Councillor Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, added: "We want to hear from everyone who uses the city centre - including businesses, bus and taxi firms and local residents so that we get the fullest possible picture. We know that there will be a wide variety of views and we want hear them all. Pragmatism will be an important part of anything we plan but we have set the ambition and now we would like to hear peoples' views on our proposals."

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