Oxford ZEZ pilot launched

DPD UK has announced it is ready for the UK’s first Zero Emissions Zone (ZEZ) pilot in Oxford, saying this will benefit the city’s residents and the climate.

Currently DPD UK has 40 electric vehicle delivery vans at its Bicester depot that serves the city of Oxford.

The Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council pilot is to look at how the ZEZ would affect a smaller area of the city, ahead of the launch of a much larger ZEZ zone across the city centre in 2023.

Oxford’s ZEZ will operate in a similar way to the London ULEZ, with ANPR cameras monitoring which vehicles enter the zone and comparing the numberplates with a list of those who have pre-paid to enter. Vehicles entering will incur a daily charge of between £2 and £10 according to how much they pollute. These will include any vehicle that burns fossil fuel in their engines, but zero emissions vehicles and those with certain pre-agreed exemptions will not be charged.

Tim Jones, director of marketing, communications and sustainability, DPDgroup UK, said, “We welcome Oxford’s ZEZ and have been preparing for it for over a year. In July 2021 we opened our new, state-of-the-art depot at Bicester, which is a ‘net zero carbon in construction’ building and announced that Oxford was the first of 25 UK towns and cities that DPD would deliver to with only electric vehicles.

“To achieve that in Oxford, we have a fleet of 40 electric vehicles working across the city, which have been delivering over 15,000 parcels ‘clean and green’ every week, since July. The feedback from drivers and customers has been fantastic and we feel that we have really proved that these vehicles can work, day in, day out in the city.

“We fully understand that there will be challenges for businesses and individuals, we have been through the whole process lots of times and in lots of different locations and it hasn’t always been easy. But we believe transitioning to greener, more sustainable vehicles is the right way forward, both environmentally and commercially, and we are backing the Oxford Zero Emission Zone to bring long-term benefits to the city, it’s residents and the wider environment,” he said.

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