Oxford’s proposed Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) is set for approval following the final round of public consultation.
The councils have so far held three formal rounds of public consultation since the ZEZ was first proposed in 2015.
In the final round of consultation, which was held between November and January 2021, more than 900 people took part and according to the councils, the results show that residents and businesses are broadly in favour of the proposals.
If Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council’s Cabinets agree to the latest version of the zone at this month’s Cabinet meetings, the new zone will be introduced in August 2021.
The ZEZ will restrict polluting vehicles from key city-centre streets during the day, and those who drive polluting vehicles into the zone will be charged a fee, with the level of charge depending on how polluting the vehicle is.
The city council’s Cabinet will consider the proposals on March 10 with the county council’s Cabinet making its decision as the highway authority on March 16.
Cllr Yvonne Constance, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, said: ‘Tackling air pollution and climate change is a huge priority for Oxfordshire County Council.
‘Not only will the Zero Emission Zone make a difference to the quality of life and health of people living and working in the city centre, we are showing that change is possible as we start to respond seriously with climate action. We can look forward to a city that will be a healthier and cleaner place for all.’
Cllr Tom Hayes, Oxford City Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, added: ‘Now, more than ever, we are alive to the importance of good health and well-being. Everyone has the right to breathe the cleanest air possible and both councils are moving forward with the introduction of Oxford’s Zero Emission Zone this year.
‘Years of extensive consultation with businesses and citizens have got us to this pivotal point, and this plan reflects their views. Years ago, we began to imagine a better Oxford with cleaner air and this Zero Emission Zone is a pragmatic yet visionary route to cleaner air and better health.’
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