Well, how do you like this? Anything Paris can do, Oxford can look down its nose at. The English city, famous for its university and for generally hating cars in general, has announced a zero-emission zone starting in 2020.
This ban is more clearly-worded than the others we’ve seen. It’s a straightforward zero-emission policy, banning petrol and diesel cars as well as any hybrid that has a fossil-fuel combustion engine. So, if you live just outside Oxford, work in the centre and have just bought a Porsche 918 Spyder thinking you’d be safe from low-emission zone restrictions, Oxford City Council would like to tell you to get bent.
Actually, it’s not quite that bad. In 2020 just a few streets will start operating a policy that sees every vehicle with an engine banned. Even taxis and buses will be affected. Gradually, the whole city will be added to the scheme and even HGVs will be stopped from entering to deliver goods. If there aren’t widely available (and financially viable) electric trucks and vans by then… well, the people of Oxford will be in trouble, won’t they.
The full scheme won’t be in place until 2035, but busy city centre streets will be metaphorically roped off to combustion engines in just over a couple of years. How, exactly, are deliveries going to be made? Will the postal services have to invest in electric vans just for Oxford? This reeks of poorly thought-out political point-scoring.
Oxford’s EV infrastructure growth plans at this point are pretty pathetic. There’s half a million pounds on tap for charging points for taxis, and £800,000 more for – wait for it – a whole 100 charging points for residents. Yep, £8000 each for something you can buy yourself for your home or office for comfortably less than £1000. That’s including fitting, too. Here, good CTzens, is typical British council mismanagement at its finest. Idiots.
Meanwhile, the population of Oxford is currently about 160,000. A hundred charging sockets isn’t going to cut it. The council is throwing this new legislation around while the actual practicalities of making it happen – we call it ‘common sense’ – has been forgotten. Well done, guys.