Oxford Wants To Become First UK City To Ban Gas And Diesel Vehicles

OCT 14 2017 BY MARK KANE 29

The Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council intend to deal with the “illegally-high levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide” in city, in the most direct of ways.

Renault ZOE Z.E.40

There is now a proposition of creating a zero emission zone in the city center – the Oxford Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ), that would be expanded out in steps over time, making Oxford the first city in the UK to ban gasoline and diesel vehicles from its streets.

From 2020, the ZEZ would cover several streets and not allow any internal combustion taxis, cars, commercial delivery vehicle or buses into the area unless it is a certified zero emission transport.

We anticipate that PHEVs would only be allowed to operate in EV mode (if at all).

The entire city center to be covered by 2035, while in 2040 the UK would like to ban new ICE car sales altogether – not nearly as drastic a step as taking them off the roads completely.

The final decision on the project is to be made after a public consultation, scheduled from October 16 to November 26.

“The proposal would see diesel and petrol vehicles banned from Oxford city centre in phases, starting with some vehicle types and a small number of streets in 2020, and – as vehicle technology develops – moving to all vehicle types across the whole city centre in 2035.

Oxford city centre currently has illegally-high levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide, which contributes to diseases including cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease – and contributes to around 40,000 deaths in the UK every year.

The Zero Emission Zone proposals would cut the nitrogen dioxide level in Oxford city centre’s most polluted street, George Street, by 74% by 2035, bringing it well below the legal limit.

You can find out more information about the proposals by reading our press release, or by reading the full Zero Emission Zone Feasibility Implementation Study.

From Monday 16 October to Sunday 26 November 2017, we will be holding a public consultation on these proposals. We want to know what you think, and how these proposals will affect you or your business, so that we can make sure the Zero Emission Zone works for everyone.”

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29 Comments on "Oxford Wants To Become First UK City To Ban Gas And Diesel Vehicles"

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How big is Oxford’s city center that they are talking about? I’ve always had the impression that it was fairly small, or at least small compared with somewhere like London or Birmingham.

First City United Kingdom, No Gas!! That would be a big step. Too long to type though, so for short it would be: FCUK No Gas.

Per “FCUK No Gas”; or “FCUK GAS”?

I was there this summer. The city center is fairly small, less than a mile in each direction.

Might be time NOW to identify every vehicle plate arriving into the city, paricularly more than once a Month, and most assuredly, those that come in more than Once per Week, identify the Vehicle types and owners, and directly mail them, advising that they will be potentially affected, and state their case as to why they must make these restrictions. Then, maybe they could work with Employers, and Businesses that depend on deliveries, to set up on site Suitable EV Charging points, from 3+ kw, up to 10 kW for L2, and from at least 25 kW up to 150 kW for Fast Charging! Some employees might not need a full 3 kW for Workplace Charging, and such, but those could simply charge on alternate days, if that’s all they need for their EV! Finally, they could write to the Auto and Truck Makers, and tell them that their Gas and Diesel Vehicles will no longer be welcome in their City, after Date “X”, and will they be providing suitable BEV cars and Trucks to switch from their current offerings? PHEV – only acceptable for initial 5 years after Date “X”, and only if they can drive strictly on Electric… Read more »

Yes, it’s always best to give rich, elite people with electric cars preferential treatment over lesser people of the city. Finally, we’re shedding this faux popularism and getting back to the proper order of things. It’ll at last be nice to commute to the city center without all the riffraff in the way! We never should have allowed common people to have automobiles in the first place!

You mean you have to be rich to drive a Leaf or e-Golf? I finally made it! I say we take half of the rich people savings and give them to the poor, the rich don’t need that money anyway…

Nitrogen oxides are a diesel story. American policy makers shouldn’t believe they can replicate, if public sentiment is the yard stick. The US isn’t big on diesel, and VW offered no less than ~13 thousand on every one of about .5 million cars. In Europe there were the other 10 million, and all they got was “flow straighteners” and a sobering reminder of the industry’s regulatory-capture.

..Website is bombarded by streaming ads. Crazy slow.

“The entire city center to be covered by 2035”

Not a very impressive goal. World War II only took six years.

1 California wildfire puts out as much as a year’s worth of cars. Then there’s the barges the industries, the 3rd world countries. Cars aren’t going to solve a damn thing except ego stroking and Facebook green cred of the buyers. Spend your time doing something that actually is impactful and don’t worry about your car.

“Oh but won’t SOMEONE please think about your 2 grams of tailpipe emissions?!: – Maude EV Driver

Take a hike loser, no one here shares your delusional idea that fossil fuel cars are not a big part of the problem. Where the hell do you live anyway, cabin in the woods? How about you start doing something impactful and bang your head against the wall to get a reset.

Agree or not, your comment is completely unproductive and unnecessary.

It’s precisely what needed to be said. His intent is obvious and I’m allergic to liars. I understand your impulse to jump to his defense, your line of thinking is similar.

Beautifully said – one of the most deserved and appropriate put downs I’ve read

He used to live in a cabin in the woods, but it burnt down.

For the record, i have nothing against cabins in the woods…i owned one untill last year…it was great to be able to breathe clean air once in a while, we all know how bad the air quality is in our big cities.

In the UK air pollution is estimated to cause 40,000 premature deaths a year. That’s 1000 worse then thecurrent Cslifornian forest fires.

Your child’s bedroom may not be an actual fire hazard, but you prefer they keep it clean.

Pretend it’s the same thing.

Here is the difference between carbon from forest fires, and carbon from burning gas.

The carbon in the forest fires are part of the natural cycle that has been going on for billions of years.

Plants sequester carbon from the air, plants burn and release carbon into the air, repeat. This is a natural cycle and over the long term. The plants that burned may be months to a few thousand years old on a planet that is billions of years old. The fires are a natural part of the carbon cycle.

On the other hand, extracting carbon in the form of oil/gas that is sequestered deep underground at the enormous rate we have been extracting it in the last century and releasing it into the air is NOT part of the natural carbon cycle.

That’s just science and math. There is no “believing” or not believing. Even Exxon knew about this fact of science 40 years ago, until they hired the same folks who claimed the science was inconclusive about cigarette smoke causing cancer, and acid rain being man-made to run their PR disinformation campaign.


mark.ca got it right.

If cars don’t solve a damn thing, why don’t you route the exhaust from ICE into passenger cabin? In winter, it’d provide nice heat and “fresh” (or benign) air; make sure to take deep breaths for that refreshing feeling.

Every time I’m out driving, I seem to get stuck behind some gasser, and I smell it and it’s not CO2. Worst is when surrounded by gassers with side-exhast trucks next to me. If you can’t smell it, your sense of smell has died from all the years of gas exposure.

I like your teaching approach…if you are in denial about the dangers ICE poses then close the garage door, turn on the engine and take a 2 hour nap in your precious pos car. Then come back here and tell us about it.

Well the mods seem to dislike anyone with a dissenting opinion and don’t let any posts through so here’s a new name which will likely get flaggd for unsanctioned views. It is fun watching everyone foam at the mouth when someone disagrees with them. It’s also highly amusing to see the depth of reading what you want to hear and arguing your position against a statement never made. Waiting to argue and foam at the littlest comment you disagree with. No I never said cars don’t emit, I said on the grand scheme of things a car is no big deal. The delta between a decently high mpg car and an ev is a fart in the wind. Not worth the worry when there’s far worse things. And to the point about routing the exhaust into your car… Unless you’re on 100% solar on your roof you too are emitting. The only difference is your doing it via power plants located in typically lower income areas. If you’re going to create it you should own it, not drop it onto someone else. That’s no different than throwing your trash onto the highway and expecting others to deal with it. How… Read more »

“Spend your time doing something that actually is impactful and don’t worry about your car.”

Someone who has nothing better to do than to troll something as positive and forward-looking as discussion of electric cars, is whining about others “wasting” time.

Dude, I really feel sorry for anybody who is as big a loser as you are.

I don’t see it as trolling, just different perspective. If there is one thing Trump has taught it’s that when you blow off people with different opinions than your own as worthless it ends up biting you in a big way. Instead of striving for an echo chamber, try being progressive in a way that’s open minded, not progressive in a way that’s closed to everyone that doesn’t meet your own values.

He implied that cars don’t emit toxic gases and pose a health danger to people. If that’s just a “different perspective” all we demand is for him to prove it. Above we offered one way he can demonstrate. Let’s not kid ourselves here, some are ignorants intentionally and i honestly don’t see why they need to be considered. What’s next? Invite a pedophile to tell us why screwing kids is not wrong because he feels good doing it?

I don’t think he said that at all. If that’s your reading of it and then you proceed to get upset about it or have some reaction then I think you need to reread. I did not read it as they don’t emit toxic gasses.

This means that people in Oxford who have just bought a Hybrid or potentially a plug-in hybrid depending on what constitutes an ICE vehicles will have just wasted their money.

This will be problematic for those shopping for larger items in the are to big to carry and need to be seen in person.

Clean air is vital but it dose not mention access to affordable EVs for residents on a budget.

Easy. Park’n’Ride with EV buses every 5-10 mins.
In fact this should be the case in many if not most world cities, where it is practical.
Bangkok, Istanbul are 2 examples I know well where driving is a ridiculous waste of time…

“We anticipate that PHEVs would only be allowed to operate in EV mode (if at all).”

Yeah, good luck with that. Even experienced drivers of PHEVs often can’t stop them from activating the gasoline motor, at least occasionally.

I think whoever said that isn’t well informed about this issue. If they’re serious about totally and completely banning vehicle emissions, then they had better plan on banning all PHEVs, period. And that would be a tragedy, at least for Volts and any other high-EV-range PHEVs that come along. I fully expect that eventually auto makers other than Chevrolet will offer 35+ mile EV range PHEVs, even if they don’t yet.

Will oxford also be banning wood fires at home, that cause over 50% of the pm2.5 pollution in london?

People need to wake up to the fact that wood fires need to be banned outright, no one needs them now that GSHP and ASHP are here and good.

I wonder how many people on this website know what a large amount of pollution they produce, it would be great if the writers could put together a piece on it.