Published: Thursday, 11 March 2021

Oxford is moving closer to the introduction of Britain’s first Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ), after Oxford City Council has supported the introduction of the ZEZ Pilot.

Last night, Oxford City Council’s Cabinet supported the introduction of the Zero Emission Zone, set for August 2021.

Next week (16/03), Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet will have final sign off on the introduction of the scheme, as the highways authority.

If approved, Oxford will one of the first places in the UK to introduce a Zero Emission Zone.

The ZEZ Pilot will restrict polluting vehicles from key city centre streets during the day. Those who drive polluting vehicles into the zone will be charged, with the level of charge dependent on how polluting the vehicle is.  

The ZEZ Pilot is the first phase of the Zero Emission Zone. It will allow both councils to gain useful experience and information before introducing a larger Zero Emission Zone covering most of Oxford city centre in 2022, subject to further public consultation.

It is intended that the restrictions and exemptions applied within the Pilot will be the same in the expanded ZEZ. 

The scheme aims to reduce toxic air pollution levels, help tackle the climate emergency, and improve the health of residents, workers and visitors in Oxford and beyond.

"I am thrilled that our Cabinet has formally supported our plans to introduce Britain’s first Zero Emission Zone. Everyone has the right to breathe the cleanest air possible, and we are now taking one of the last remaining steps to ensuring that this can become a reality. We are looking forward to hearing from Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet next week and await their decision on the ZEZ Pilot”

Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council

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