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Oxford announces plans to support a sustainable transport system

Oxford to expand the workplace parking levy in a bid to boost active travel in the city centre. 

The new proposals include:

  • Workplace parking levy: This is a charge on employers and educational organisations for the number of parking places they provide that are regularly used by employees, students or others. By law, money raised by the levy must be spent on improving transport in the city.
  • Traffic filters: Six traffic filters are proposed on certain roads (Hythe Bridge Street, Thames Street, Marston Ferry Road, St Cross road, Hollow Way, and St Clements) to reduce traffic congestion, improve bus journey times and create safer routes for cyclists and pedestrians.
  • Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ): The councils propose to extend the ZEZ from the current pilot area to cover the entire city centre.

Over the coming months, Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council will engage with businesses, service providers, hospitals, transport providers, schools, and town and parish councils to gather suggestions and feedback on the proposed schemes. 

Consultations on these proposals will take place in late summer 2022, with the schemes to be implemented between 2023 and 2024. 

bird's eye photography of gray gothic building

Cllr Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council, said: ‘Gridlocked traffic is bad for everyone – it is bad for residents, bad for the economy, and bad for the environment. Our air must be cleaner to protect our health. Our energy must be cleaner to protect our futures. As well as tackling air pollution and our climate crisis, everyone must be able to move swiftly and simply from A to B. Citizens have lives to lead and they want to enjoy the best possible health and transportation, and to look to the future with hope.

‘That’s why we’re expanding the planned workplace parking levy to the whole city and the Zero Emission Zone to the whole city centre, as the City Council has long called for. In closer partnership, both councils are throwing our weight behind our critically important bus network. We must back Oxford’s buses to recover from the pandemic and move around the city without significant delays, and that must take place immediately and, with these plans, over the medium-term.

‘Everyone in the city struggles with the same congestion choking their roads, worries about the air they breathe, and looks to our climate future with nervousness. We all want to fix our problems—by proposing these plans, both councils want to speak directly to citizens and organisations over the next few months ahead of further public consultation later this year. We want everyone to have their say.’

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