Oxford Zero Emission Zone described by RHA as absurd

Published: 20 January 2020

Oxford Zero Emission Zone described by RHA as absurd
The RHA has criticized the decision from Oxford officials to charge trucks for entering the zero-emission zone, which could put many smaller businesses at risk considering the overwhelming amount of costs they are already struggling to overcome.

Without even an option of zero-emission trucks available to the public, the RHA has claimed the town hall chiefs of imposing the additional costs on businesses simply for their own gain.

The plans set forward by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council are set to launch a “red zone” within the city centre later this year, at which point if a vehicle fails to meet the zero emission standard set it will cost £10 in daily expenses.

Plans published ahead of scheduled consultation show that the charges could be applied between 7AM-7PM daily. On-top of the planned “red zone”, a “green zone” is planned to be put in place – covering the rest of Oxford between 2021/22.

Speaking on Oxford Official’s plans, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett responded: “If council chiefs are serious about slashing emissions they need to focus on improving road infrastructure. Current plans mean that consumers will face higher prices in the shops as hard-pressed firms have no choice but to pass on the extra costs.”

He continued: “Imposing a scheme where even the cleanest, Euro VI trucks will be hit with charges is absurd. The councils have offered no evidence to show how these measures will improve air quality so we can only conclude this is all about showcasing their green credentials instead of making the tough choices to tackle emissions.

“These are poorly conceived ideas which will leave Oxford’s communities footing the bill with price hikes in the high street if they go ahead.” Burnett concluded.

Burnett called plans to exempt companies based within the zone from costs as discriminatory, mentioning many of the firms completing deliveries will be based from outside the area. Including those based a few miles outside of the city centre.

Oxford council are opening consultations on Friday 31st of Jan. With a formal consultation soon to follow in March, with a final decision to be made in the spring. The RHA will be ready to respond to the consultation outcome later in the year.
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