DPD has welcomed Britain’s first Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) pilot, launched in Oxford.
The company was at the launch of the initiative with local driver Mohammed Bilal Khan, who drives one of the company’s 40 electric van’s based at DPD’s Bicester eco-depot, which serves the city. In total, DPD now has over 1,700 EVs on the road in the UK.
The ZEZ pilot will allow Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council to gain learnings before the potential launch of a larger ZEZ covering most of Oxford city centre next year (2023), subject to further public consultation.
The pilot will work in a similar way to the London Congestion Charge and Ultra Low Emission Zone. Signs will be installed around the perimeter of the zone and on routes leading to it to notify drivers of the ZEZ pilot. Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras will be used to enforce the zone.
The zone will operate from 7am – 7pm, all year around. All petrol and diesel vehicles, including hybrids, will incur a daily charge – from £2 to £10 per day depending on the emission levels of the vehicle – unless eligible for a discount or exemption. However, zero emission vehicles, such as electric cars and vans, can enter the pilot area free of charge.
Tim Jones, director of marketing, communications and sustainability, DPDgroup UK, said: “We welcome Oxford’s Zero Emission Zone 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.”