Oxford is the First City in the UK to Introduce a Zero Emission Zone

01st Mar 2022

Oxford pilot zero emission zone

Oxford’s Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) pilot scheme went live on 28th February 2022, bringing charges on all petrol and diesel vehicles, including hybrids, unless exempt. If you have petrol and/or diesel fleet vehicles that operate within Oxford city centre, are you prepared for the charges?

While many cities have already introduced or explored Clean Air Zone restrictions, Oxford is the first city in the UK to introduce a ZEZ, which aims to reduce toxic air pollution in the city and encourage people to make positive changes in travel behaviour.

The pilot will apply between 7am and 7pm each day covering a few streets in the city centre, and will allow Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council to gain insights before introducing a larger ZEZ covering most of Oxford city centre next year, subject to further public consultation. These charges will be in effect from 28th February and could see increased charges for fleets, particularly courier companies operating within that area.

Under the pilot scheme, all petrol and diesel vehicles, including hybrids, will incur a daily charge unless eligible for a discount or an exemption. Zero-emission vehicles, such as electric cars, can enter the pilot area free of charge. The charge will vary from £2 to £10 per day depending on the emission levels of the vehicle. Currently, charges cannot be paid via the government’s centralised Clean Air Zone payment portal.

Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras have been installed to enforce rules within the zone, and ZEZ payments can be made via the county council’s website. Charges can be paid up to six days in advance, on the day the vehicle is driven in the zone, and up to six days after the vehicle has been driven inside the zone.