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January 23 2019
By Tim Deakin

Tim is Editor of routeone and has worked in both the coach and bus and haulage industries.

Climb-down on Oxford zero emission zone plans

NOx concentrations in Oxford have reduced thanks mainly to Euro 6 buses

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council have relaxed their proposals for a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) in the centre of the city.

Under the revised plans, an earlier mandate for a phased roll-out of zero-emission capable local buses from 2020 (dependent on work to pedestrianise a central area) has been relaxed to a consideration of measures to encourage their take-up from 2025.

Steps to incentivise adoption of zero-emission capability in other commercial vehicle classes, potentially including coaches, are under consideration for introduction from 2022.

A joint statement from the two local authorities says that this change in policy is based on data that it has collected showing that Euro 6 engines “are performing very well, particularly in buses.”

In 2017, NOx levels in the city centre decreased by 23%, although some monitored locations still exceeded the legal limit. That reduction has been attributed largely to the introduction of more Euro 6 buses.

The new proposals aspire to a requirement for Euro 6 levels of NOx emissions for local buses by 2020, with limited exemptions until 2022. A County Council decision on that plan is due soon. Phase two, from 2025, will further encourage zero-emission capable vehicles in the city centre, with hopes of a full transition to zero emission for all classes by 2035.

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