Ox­ford to ban petrol, diesel cars from cen­tre

DNA (Delhi) - - WORLD -

The univer­sity city of Ox­ford has un­veiled plans to ban petrol and diesel cars from its cen­tre as part of the most rad­i­cal set of pro­pos­als so far in Bri­tain to curb pol­lu­tion. Whilst Lon­don is rolling out an “ul­tra-low emis­sion zone”, which will see the most gas-guz­zling ve­hi­cles pay daily charges to en­ter the city cen­tre from 2020, Ox­ford’s “Zero Emis­sion Zone” will ban emit­ting ve­hi­cles from en­ter­ing part of the city cen­tre from that date.

Since Ger­man car­maker Volk­swa­gen ad­mit­ted in 2015 to cheat­ing U.S. emis­sions tests, politi­cians around the world have un­veiled plans to clamp down on diesel ve­hi­cles in a bid to im­prove air qual­ity and meet more strin­gent tar­gets. “All of us who drive or use petrol or diesel ve­hi­cles through Ox­ford are con­tribut­ing to the city’s toxic air,” said city coun­cil board mem­ber John Tan­ner.

“Ev­ery­one needs to do their bit – from the 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 cen­tre, in­clud­ing near the world-fa­mous Ox­ford Union de­bat­ing so­ci­ety. The zone will be grad­u­ally widened to in­clude more streets and fur­ther ve­hi­cle types un­til 2035 when all emit­ting ve­hi­cles, in­clud­ing lor­ries, will be banned from the cen­tre. Lo­cal politi­cians will draw up the fi­nal plans af­ter a con­sul­ta­tion closes on Novem­ber 26. Bri­tain said it will ban the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars from 2040.

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