As part of what they believe will make them the world’s first zero emissions city, Oxford city council have made pledged to ban both petrol and diesel cars from their city centre roads by 2020, with hopes of extending this zone throughout the whole city by no later than 2035. On the back of the UK government’s commitment to improving air quality all across the nation, could ‘clean’ air zones make for just another step closer to realising the target?

Supposedly, poor air quality is linked to up to 40,000 annual deaths which occur prematurely, this just in London alone, prompting the government to follow in the footsteps of their neighbouring countries and put some measures in place to curb the high levels of air pollution coming from our petrol and diesel vehicles. Diesel cars in particular are said to be responsible for the emission of 50% more toxins than the legal limit, including nitrogen dioxide. Meanwhile both Norway and Germany are on their way to hitting their clean air targets by 2025 and 2030.

With regards to the UK, plans to do something about air quality aren’t exclusive to Oxford. Five of the UK’s most polluted regions have also made a commitment to the introduction of ‘clean air zones’ into their cities, including Nottingham, Southampton, Derby, Leeds and Birmingham. The government defines a Clean Air Zone as “an area where targeted action is taken to improve air quality and resources are prioritised and coordinated in order to shape the urban environment in a way that delivers improved health benefits and supports economic growth”.

High pollution vehicles will have their access limited through these planned zones, and charged for entering the zone as part of some attempts to reduce pollution levels in the area. This is only aimed to offer encouragement for drivers to switch to cleaner, electric or hybrid vehicles to avoid being charged with fees for entering the clean zones. Restrictions will serve to limit who can enter the clean zones with this introduction of charges along with blanket vehicle bans and time-of-day restrictions. Vehicles with ultra-low or zero emissions will be offered an exemption from clean zone charges, but to begin with only taxis, HGVs and buses are likely to be charged for entering these areas. Privately owned vehicles will be exempt. This could be as a result of the government trying to clarify to drivers who were encouraged to buy diesel by former governments that they won’t be penalised for their following of successive governments.

However, the government seeks to encourage drivers to steer clear of diesel and petrol moving forward, this through the introduction of a diesel scrappage scheme, to incentivise drivers to upgrade their older vehicles to new and cleaner ones. Despite that however, these plans have been put on hold due to financial budget reasons, but Theresa May has indicated that the diesel scrappage scheme hold is only temporary and that it’s all set to go ahead in the near future.

With their continuous unveiling of their plans to reach their goals set for 2040, through clean air zones the UK government seems to be taking a step closer to meeting those targets. If the UK is indeed to become the electric nation they desire to be, this will undeniably make for just a small piece of what is a much bigger puzzle. However, with more cities carrying out investigations on the feasibility of the introduction of clean air zones, this small piece of the puzzle could very well prove to be quite a significant stride in the approach to getting our emissions and pollution back down to within the legal limit.

Here at Motorparks, we have a fine selection of great electric deals on both new and used cars, including prestige vehicles such as the Jaguar I-Pace which is available at our Jaguar Grange dealerships. If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to make contact with us and one of our specialists will be more than happy to help.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...