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.
Oxford is poised to introduce the world's first zero-emissions zone.
The ban will be staggered, with NO2-emitting taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles and buses excluded from a small number of streets in the city centre. Over the last decade, Oxford says it has reduced NO2 levels by almost 37 percent, but council member John Tanner told The Telegraph that a ban is "urgently needed".
According to the city council, latest monitoring data has found that air pollution appears to have plateaued above the legal limits in some parts of the city.
The introduction of the zone is expected to reduce NO2 levels in George Street by 74% by 2035.
"The council would be better placed to first identify those vehicles that are most responsible for creating city pollution rather than simply implementing an outright ban on all non-zero-emissions vehicles from certain streets".
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The council has won £500,000 ($847,600) in Government funding to install charge points for electric taxis, and another £800,000 ($1,350,000) to supply 100 charge points for residents ahead of the proposed Zero Emission Zone.
Councillor John Tanner of Oxford city council expressed the city's endorsement of this eco-friendly change: "Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford's residents..."
Tanner has urged everyone who uses the city centre to take part, adding: "We need to know what people's needs are, so that we can plan a Zero Emission Zone that minimises impact on business and residents while maximising impact on the city's health".
Does the Zero Emissions Zone make sense for Oxford city centre?
A six-week public consultation will be held from the 16 October to the 26 November to gain feedback from the public concerning the zero-emissions proposal. Tell us what you think in the comments area below!
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