Ox­ford first UK city to ban petrol, diesel cars from cen­tre

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Kenya’s gov­ern­ment on Thurs­day banned protests in main LON­DON: The univer­sity city of Ox­city cen­tres, cit­ing law­less­ness dur­ing ford has un­veiled plans to ban petrol op­po­si­tion ral­lies against the elec­toral and diesel cars from its cen­tre as part com­mis­sion ahead of a sched­uled of the most rad­i­cal set of pro­pos­als so pres­i­den­tial poll re-run. far in Bri­tain to curb pol­lu­tion.

The move comes as op­po­si­tion Whilst Lon­don is rolling out an leader Raila Odinga called for daily “ul­tra low emis­sion zone”, which will protests next week to keep up pres­sure see the most gas-guz­zling ve­hi­cles pay on elec­tion of­fi­cials to re­form, after his daily charges to en­ter the city cen­tre re­fusal to take part in the Oc­to­ber 26 from 2020, Ox­ford’s “Zero Emis­sion vote plunged the coun­try into un­cerZone” will ban emit­ting ve­hi­cles from tainty. en­ter­ing part of the city cen­tre from

“Due to the clear, present and imthat date. mi­nent dan­ger of breach of peace, the Since Ger­man car­maker Volk­swag­ov­ern­ment no­ti­fies the public that, gen ad­mit­ted in 2015 to cheat­ing US for the time be­ing, we will not al­low emis­sions tests, politi­cians around the demon­stra­tions within the cen­tral world have un­veiled plans to clamp busi­ness dis­tricts of Nairobi, Mom­ring some from vis­it­ing city cen­tres peaceful. The or­gan­is­ers shall be held down on diesel ve­hi­cles in a bid to im­basa and Kisumu,” said Se­cu­rity Mi­non demon­stra­tion days. per­son­ally li­able for any breach of law prove air qual­ity and meet more strin­is­ter Fred Ma­tiangi. There have also been in­ci­dents of dur­ing the demon­stra­tions,” he said. gent tar­gets.

“The in­spec­tor gen­eral of pick­pock­et­ing and mug­gings on the Odinga said this week that he was “All of us who drive or use petrol has been ad­vised ac­cord­ingly.” edges of the protests. with­draw­ing from the sched­uled reor diesel ve­hi­cles through Ox­ford are

Op­po­si­tion MPs said they would Ma­tiangi said the protests had re­run, against Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­con­tribut­ing to the city’s toxic air,” said defy the or­der and con­tinue the pro­sulted in “at­tacks on po­lice sta­tions, atta whose vic­tory in the orig­i­nal city coun­cil board mem­ber John Tan­tests which have seen hun­dred­sner.ofop-at­tack­son­po­lice­of­fi­cer­soc­ca­sion­ingAu­gust­poll­wasan­nulled­last­month po­si­tion sup­port­ers march through griev­ous bod­ily harm, se­ri­ous dis­rupby the Supreme Court cit­ing wide“Ev­ery­one needs to do their bit — the streets, some­times burn­ing tyres tion of nor­mal busi­ness, as­sault on in­spread ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties. from na­tional gov­ern­ment and lo­cal and clash­ing with po­lice who have no­cent civil­ians, de­struc­tion and lootOdinga said that with­out fun­daau­thor­i­ties to busi­nesses and res­i­dents used tear gas to dis­perse crowds. ing of prop­erty,” and threat­ened le­gal men­tal re­forms to the In­de­pen­dent — to end this public health emer

Though rel­a­tively small, the proac­tion. Elec­toral and Bound­aries Com­mis­gency.” Ox­ford will also in­tro­duce tests have caused out­sized dis­rup­tion, “It is the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the or­sion (IEBC), the vote would not be re­duced park­ing fees for elec­tric ve­hi­forc­ing shops to close up and de­ter- gan­iser that all par­tic­i­pants re­main free and fair. cles and elec­tric-taxi ranks. po­lice

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 has said it will ban the sale of all new diesel and petrol cars from 2040, repli­cat­ing plans by France and the may­ors of Paris, Madrid, Mexico City and Athens, who aim to ban diesel ve­hi­cles from their city cen­tres by 2025.

— Reuters file photo

A woman rides a bike next to Oriel Col­lege in Ox­ford.

— AFP

Op­po­si­tion sup­port­ers block streets and burn tyres dur­ing a protest in Kisumu, Kenya, on Wed­nes­day.

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