ALL diesel and petrol cars to be banned in Oxford by 2035
Oxford will become the world’s first zero-emission city under new council-backed proposals, which could ban ALL petrol and diesel vehicles from the city by 2035.
Unlike the government’s plan to stop sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040, Oxfordshire County Council’s proposal also includes hybrid cars as well as commercial vehicles – put simply, only pure-electric vehicles will be permitted to drive in the restricted areas.
The zero emission zones would be rolled out in several phases, with the first being introduced in the city centre in 2020. Further zones would be introduced in 2025, 2030, and will eventually encompass the whole city by 2020.
The zones will be controlled by number plate recognition cameras, with the possibility of a £60 fine for those that flout the ban. This is set to cost the council up to £7 million, while it will also invest in its own EVs including bin lorries and gritters.
The City Council, supported by the County Council, has already won £500,000 of Government funding to install charging points for electric taxis and £800,000 of to install 100 electric vehicle charging points for Oxford residents.
Commenting on the plans, councillor John Tanner commented that “a step change is urgently needed” and the air pollution is "damaging the health of Oxford's residents”.
With the launch of dozens of electric vehicles planned over the next decade, it won’t be a lack of choice holding drivers back, but the state of charging infrastructure certainly could do.
A lot more is needed besides those promised 100 EV charge points. Motoring journalist Dave Richards said the ban would result in "posts and extension leads running over pavements - it's a colossal problem". The development of larger commercial EVs could pose problems too.
Martin Sutton from Stagecoach Oxfordshire said: "The idea is great and we'd all like to support it, but we just need to be absolutely sure that if we promise 2020, that technology is ready and at the moment I'm not convinced it will be.
"Our buses run between 200 and 250 miles-a-day and at the moment the best electric doubledecker on the market can do about 130 miles.”
The council is seeking responses from everyone who uses the city centre – including businesses, fleet operators and local residents – to help shape the final scheme, which will be published next year. The first consultations will begin next week (16/10/17).