BUSINESSES have been asked for their opinions on the UK's first zero emission zone (ZEZ) in Oxford.

Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council want to hear from traders in the city centre about proposals for the ZEZ 'red zone'.

The zone is due to be introduced in December this year to tackle air pollution, with a £10 charge for vehicles in operation between 7am and 7pm in the restricted area.

Delivery vehicles will only be able to operate free of charge outside of those hours, although there will exemptions on vehicles registered to businesses within the zone, for the next four years.

They will then get a discount until December 2030, to allow for the transition.

Business owners and managers are being invited to a forum called Talk of the Town on Wednesday, January 22, at Oxford Town Hall.

It starts at 11.30am in the council chamber, to help shape the proposals.

READ AGAIN: Expect £10 a day charge and £120 fine in ZEZ red zone

Blue badge holders will get a discounted rate until December 2024, and there will be a 90 per cent discount for residents living within the zone, until December 2030.

Buses and licensed Hackney Carriages which drive within the zone have already agreed timelines for zero-emissions fleets and will not have to pay.

Informal consultation on the red zone is open until Friday, January 31, and it will go to formal consultation in March,

Councillor Tom Hayes, Cabinet Member for Zero Carbon Oxford, Oxford City Council said: “When people shop in the city centre, they shouldn’t be paying the high price of toxic air, worsening health, and congested streets.

"Oxford’s Zero Emission Zone seeks to give our city centre extra support by encouraging more people to come into it and spend longer in its shops, cafes, and restaurants.

"We are working closely with the business community, including with landlords and agents to maintain a reduction in the number of empty city centre units.

"Our hope is that more businesses want to set up shop in Oxford because of the benefits which the Zero Emission Zone will deliver.

"The council is working with delivery companies from outside of Oxford to modify their delivery times, so that they aren’t polluting the air when we have high numbers of people walking and cycling in the city centre."

Visit for more details.