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Oxford is to become the first UK city to ban petrol and diesel vehicles by 2020Getty

Oxford is to become the world's first zero-emissions zone, as it looks to ban all non-electric vehicles from its city centre by 2020.

The university town will become the first city in the UK to ban all polluting vehicles from its centre.

All petrol and diesel vehicles, including cars, buses and vans, will be barred from six main streets in the centre as of 2020.

The zero-emissions zone will be extended in 2025 and 2030, and by 2035 all non-electric vehicles will not be allowed into the city.

The scheme aims to reduce the city's air pollution by 75%. The council will have to replace all buses, gritting trucks and bin lorries with non-electric vehicles.

The total cost of replacing the diesel and petrol vehicles with electric or hybrid alternatives is expected to amount to £7m (€7.75m). A further £7m will be spent on CCTV cameras to monitor whether drivers are obeying the new rules. Anyone caught driving a non-electric vehicle can expect a fine of £60.

John Tanner, Oxford city council cabinet member for environment, said: "Toxic and illegal air pollution in the city centre is damaging the health of Oxford's residents. A step change is urgently needed; the new Zero Emission Zone is that step change."

"All of us who drive or use petro or diesel vehicles through Oxford are contributing to the city's toxic air. Everyone needs to do their bit – from national government and local authorities, to businesses and residents – to end this public health emergency," he added.

The ban takes London Mayor Sadiq Khan's plans a step further. Khan is set to introduce an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in the capital, which will impose an additional charge on polluting vehicles.