Oxford has implemented Britain’s first Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) with electric cars able to enter the pilot area free of charge.
The ZEZ pilot will operate from 7am to 7pm, all year around and all petrol and diesel vehicles, including hybrids, will incur a daily charge unless eligible for a discount or exemption.
Streets included in the ZEZ are New Road, between Bonn Square and its junction with Castle Street; Bonn Square; Queen Street; Cornmarket Street; New Inn Hall Street; Shoe Lane; Market Street, from Cornmarket junction east for 40 metres; Ship Street; and St Michael’s Street
The pilot will allow Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council to gain insights before introducing a larger ZEZ covering most of Oxford city centre in 2023, subject to further public consultation.
Charges will vary from £2 to £10 per day depending on the emission levels of the vehicle, and automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras will enforce the zone.
A range of exemptions and discounts are available for businesses and residents in the zone and funds raised by the ZEZ will be used to cover implementation and running costs of the scheme.
Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council, said, “The start of the zero emission zone pilot is a landmark event for the city of Oxford and our journey to tackle toxic air pollution and reduce our carbon emissions.
“We will be using the learnings from this pilot to inform the expansion of the zone to the wider city centre in 2023.”