Oxford's Low Emission Zone (LEZ)

This page relates to Oxford's bus Low Emission Zone, introduced in 2013. For the Zero Emission Zone due to come into force in February 2022, see www.oxford.gov.uk/zez

The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) has been introduced to encourage the uptake of cleaner greener vehicles, leading to reductions in pollution emissions and improved air quality.

Oxford City Council, together with Oxfordshire County Council have developed the LEZ over a number of years, including assessments highlighting the need to reduce the impact of vehicle generated emissions. A joint City-County feasibility study identified the process leading to the development of the LEZ, including consultation with the Bus Operators.

Map of the Low Emission Zone

Affected vehicles

All local bus services within the streets affected must be operated exclusively by buses whose engines meet the Euro V emission standard (for nitrogen oxides (NOx)), either as a new engine or a vehicle that has been retrofitted with equipment to reduce emissions in order to achieve the Euro V standard (for Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)).


The Traffic Commissioner has issued a Traffic Regulation Condition (TRC) that applies to the licence of bus operators providing services in central Oxford. The full text of the TRC as published by the Traffic Commissioner can be viewed (from page 21) in TRC document below:

Traffic Regulation Condition

Local enforcement of the TRC is explained in the Bus Operator Guidance (see below).


There are four possible sets of exemptions:

  • For low frequency services
  • For Euro IV buses operating between October 2012 and January 2013, may continue to operate until December 2015. [Exemption 1c]
  • Two further exemptions related to withdrawn services to allow time for procurement of Euro V vehicles.

The full details of these exemptions can be found within the Traffic Regulation Condition or Bus Operator Guidance:

Bus Operator Guidance

Approved Vehicles

All buses that have a "10-plate", or later are automatically approved, and therefore not listed.

The database below contains details of Euro IV buses accepted under exemption 1c, or buses re-engined or retrofitted to EuroV, in addition to pre "10-plate" Euro Vs.

Approved Bus Database

Local assessments of traffic emissions will continue to consider whether extensions of the LEZ to other vehicle classes could be considered as a means of further reducing the local impacts of traffic emissions on air quality and contributions to greenhouse gas emissions.