Drivers of cars with combustion engines will be charged to drive on certain streets in Oxford from August, pending final sign-off from council members on the new scheme.
A Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) will be set-up in the city centre if approved, initially as a ‘ZEZ Pilot’ covering a handful of streets in central Oxford and then expanding to much of the city in 2022.
Plans are for the zone to run from 7am to 7pm every day, and drivers entering the zone will be charged a fee related to the emissions of their vehicle. The charge will be £2 per day for hybrids that emit less than 75g/km of CO2, £4 for Euro 4-approved petrol and Euro 6-approved diesel vehicles, and £10 for non-Euro 4 petrol and non-Euro 6 diesel vehicles.
Those prices will rise to £4, £8 and £20 respectively in 2025, however, and there will not be any charge for electric cars. There are also exemptions for certain workers such as those in health and care, those with financial hardship and Blue Badge holders. Residents can get a 90 per cent discount, and taxis get half off.
Oxford City Council has supported the introduction of the ZEZ Pilot, which will be one of the first places outside London to introduce a low-emissions zone like this. The expansion of the scheme in 2022 to more roads in the city will be subject to public consultation.
The council said that the ZEZ aims to “reduce toxic air pollution levels, help tackle the climate emergency, and improve the health of residents, workers and visitors in Oxford.”