The challenge of a zero emissions zone

A zero emissions zone could be launched in the city centre. That would be radical but it has a bumpy road ahead.

The challenge of a zero emissions zone
Norwich's zero emissions zone has been held up. Credit: domdomegg via Wikimedia Commons

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Norwich has a bad record on air pollution - but over the last few years things have got a lot better. The next, ambitious step is to create a zero emissions zone in the city centre. However, The Seeker has been told this transformation is being held up at the Department for Transport (DfT).

And that is before we get on to the old, polluting buses and a huge lack of electric vehicle charging points. So how is it going to happen?

Recap: In March, the DfT trumpeted that it was giving Norfolk County Council £500,000 to look at transforming part of the city centre into a zero emissions zone. It would be only the second city in the country to have one, after Oxford. The zone would be based on streets already restricted to traffic, which the council said provided "the ideal foundation" for it. Many cities already have low emissions zone, but a zero emissions area is much more ambitious.

What happened: The £500,000 was meant to be spent this summer on a study, talking to local businesses and working out how to do it. But when we asked the county council how it was going, they said: