Non-compliant coaches will be subject to a £10 daily charge to enter Oxford’s proposed Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ). If approved, the ZEZ is on track to be enacted this year under plans by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council. It will precede a much larger ZEZ in 2021/22.
Both local authorities (LAs) published their joint final draft ZEZ proposal last week. An initial Red Zone, to commence on 1 December, captures a small area, including Bonn Square, Cornmarket, New Inn Hall Street, Queen Street, Ship Street and St Michael’s Street.
Charges will be levied on non-compliant vehicles between 0700-1900hrs daily. Buses are not included as those serving Oxford are subject to an agreed transitionary period to zero emissions.
Of more importance to many coach operators will be plans to extend the ZEZ by adding a much larger Green Zone either next year or in 2022. That will grow the ZEZ to cover the remainder of Oxford city centre.
Both LAs have launched an informal consultation into the Red Zone. It includes proposed charging and enforcement arrangements and closes on 31 January. A formal consultation begins in March with a response due in the spring.
In the Red Zone, enforcement will be via camera. Payment will be required by midnight of the working day after entering. Failure to pay will lead to a £120 penalty. Plans include a to be decided daily charge for the Green Zone, although it will be discounted for vehicles meeting Euro VI standards.