Oxford Zero Emission Zone Pilot Formal Consultation

Oxfordshire County Council, with support from Oxford City Council, is formally consulting on final proposals to introduce a Zero Emission Zone Pilot (previously known as the ‘ZEZ Red Zone’) in a small area of Oxford city centre.  Views are also being sought on proposals for a larger ZEZ to cover most of the city centre (previously called the ‘ZEZ Green Zone’) at this early stage in its development. 

This webpage provides details of what we are consulting on and how you can respond to the consultation. 

A detailed document on the final ZEZ Pilot proposals, which includes the legal basis for its implementation and summary of impacts, is available here.  

A '2-minute summary' is also available here, which includes a map of the ZEZ Pilot and the larger ZEZ.     

What is being consulted on? 

The ambition for a Zero Emission Zone within Oxford city centre is set out in the Oxfordshire Local Transport Plan 4 (Oxford Transport Strategy) and is being taken forward jointly by Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council. 

The councils consulted on initial proposals for a ZEZ in 2017, published updated proposals in January 2019, and consulted informally on final draft proposals (focused on the Red Zone charging scheme) in January 2020.  We began a final consultation on the Red Zone in March 2020, but this was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Reflecting on the feedback from the January 2020 ZEZ consultation, the experience of COVID-19, and the feedback from the temporary bus gates survey in the summer, the councils have made several changes to the ZEZ proposals.  The main change is the proposal for the ZEZ Pilot to have exactly the same requirements as those proposed for the subsequent larger ZEZ.  This will allow us to accelerate the larger ZEZ, delivering greater overall benefits sooner, whilst also making the scheme somewhat less onerous for residents and businesses in the ZEZ Pilot. 

The ZEZ would be implemented through a road user charging scheme, which means vehicles used in the zone would be subject to charges, depending on their emissions.  Only 100% zero emission vehicles would be able to be used in the zone free of charge.   

Discounts are proposed for certain vehicles and road users including residents’ and businesses’ vehicles and Blue Badge Holders.  Some of these are ‘transitional discounts’ which would only apply temporarily, while others would apply permanently. 

The case for change 

Vehicle emissions cause significant harm to human health and contribute to climate change; action is required to reduce vehicle emissions.  In January 2020, a study from the Centre for Cities found out that just under 6% of deaths in Oxford can be attributed to particulate air pollution.   

During the national lockdown introduced in March to control COVID-19, people across the country enjoyed quieter streets and cleaner air; in Oxford city centre pollution dropped by 64% to a level not likely to have been seen since the early 20th century.  

The ZEZ would reduce traffic volumes, encourage the uptake of zero emission vehicles, and lead to other positive behavioural changes all of which would reduce vehicle emissions and hence air pollution whilst maintaining access for those who need it.  

Please give us your views 

This consultation is a final formal consultation on the proposed ZEZ Pilot.  Responses to this consultation will be reported to the councils’ Cabinets in March 2021, and will inform their decisions about the scheme. 

Please give us your views on this consultation by 17 January 2021; 23:59. There are several ways to respond:  

Zero Emission Zone 

Oxfordshire County Council 

New Road 



A printed version of the online questionnaire is available on request. Please call us on 01865 792422 if you would like one. 


  • Opened
    20 Nov 2020 at 08:00
  • Closed
    17 Jan 2021 at 23:59


Contact Name Stewart Wilson
Contact Email Address zez@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Contact Phone Number 01865 792422
Contact Postal Address Zero Emission Zone
County Hall
New Road

Consultation Topic
  • Economy & business
  • Environment & waste
  • Health
  • Planning
  • Roads & transport
Target Audience
  • Oxfordshire residents
  • Councillors
  • Businesses
Geographical Area
  • Oxford City