Oxford is first in the UK to make city center fossil free, banning gas and diesel vehicles. New plans slated to go into effect from 2020.

19 Oct 2017 by  on Clean Technica

The city of Oxford, England, will become the first in the UK to ban all diesel and petrol/gas-powered cars from its city center, if newly revealed plans go through.

Image © Copyright David Hawgood and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The new plans from the prominent university city will see a so-called “Zero Emission Zone” imposed — as opposed to London’s “ultra low emission zone” plans slated to go into effect in 2020 — which means that all internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles will be subject to an outright ban, rather than simply a charge/fine meant to influence behavior and buying patterns.

The new plans are tentatively slated to go into effect from 2020.

“All of us who drive or use petrol or diesel vehicles through Oxford are contributing to the city’s toxic air,” stated city council board member John Tanner, when explaining the announcement. “Everyone needs to do their bit — from national government and local authorities to businesses and residents — to end this public health emergency.”

“Oxford will also introduce reduced parking fees for electric vehicles and electric-taxi ranks. 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 center, including near the world-famous Oxford Union debating society,” Reuters adds.

“The zone will be gradually widened to include more streets and further vehicle types until 2035 when all emitting vehicles, including trucks, will be banned from the center. Local politicians will draw up the final plans after a consultation closes on Nov. 26.”

That will mean that, in effect, Oxford will be free of diesel and petrol/gas-emitted air pollution well before much of the rest of the UK — barring further actions from other city and/or regional governments.

As it stands, the UK’s government will be imposing a ban on the sale of all new diesel and petrol/gas powered cars from 2040 onwards.