City of Oxford to create electric car only zone

Screenshot 2017-10-13 13.42.13In 2020, the UK city of Oxford will launch a central zone exclusively designated for the use of electric vehicles (EV). The Zero Emissions Zone will be expanded every five years thereafter and will result in a blanket ban on fossil-fuel powered vehicles from the centre of this ancient city by the year 2035.

The first phase will only see six central streets bar access to petrol and diesel driven cars, vans, taxis and buses. When this stage is inaugurated, Oxford’s councillors claim it will be the very first urban Zero Emissions Zone in the world.

While a definite benefit of such a move is a deterrent to driving on streets which are centuries old, the ultimate aim is to improve air quality. The World Health Organization says research has indicated Oxford is one of 11 UK cities with toxic levels of PM2.5 and PM10 particles in its air.

Over exposure to the particles impacts on breathing and can cause annoying eye irritations. Scientists claim the particles come from nitrogen dioxide which in turn is a direct result of exhaust emissions from petrol and diesel engines. The pioneering ban on this kind of vehicle in Oxford is borne out of necessity.

Oxford councillor John Tanner told reporters the ban on diesel and petrol vehicles was an absolute must to ensure the health of the city’s population was not harmed. The UK’s government is supporting the initiative and has already allocated a total of £1.3 million to set up EV charging points for residents and taxis.



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