Oxford bus LEZ (LES/LEZ)

Oxford City Council[LAName] – 23 Jan 2014


Low Emission Zone enforced by a Traffic Regulation Condition (TRC). Buses entering Oxford City Centre need to be at least Euro V from 1 Jan 2014. Requirements were met prior to 2014 via a 'bus qualifying agreement' negotiated between Oxfordshire County Council and the bus companies with the City's support.



Affects all buses entering Oxford City Centre


Traffic Regulation Condition enforces a Low Emission Zone. Buses entering the city centre need to be at least Euro V from 1 Jan 2014 (retrofitting is allowed) Bus qualifying agreement (negotiated in advance of LEZ coming into force) also includes: high frequency service, more seats, using fewer high quality double decker vehicles, better information and faster boarding for passengers


All buses currently meet Euro 5 emission standard with the exception of those that are eligible for exemptions. The bus qualifying agreement has resulted in a 25% reduction in bus numbers on the high street.

[ITTypography] [BQValue] [BUTypography] [BQMethod]
  • Indicator Value Measure / Method Quality Assurance


Noteworthy (Dec 2013, LEP): One of only two examples outside London of a currently active LEZ.  Good practice in relation to working with bus companies and in obtaining a TRC.  Minimal cost to Local Authority, cost impacts are on the bus operators (figures not available)

Recorded some air quality improvements in relation to PM. There are some concerns about primary NO2 emissions. Hourly breaches of the NO2 objective are now being found.  (Oxford City Council has recently obtained funding from DEFRA to investigate this further)

Action details

Action: Bus Low Emission Zone [ACName]

Action: Quality bus partnership [ACName]


Oxford City Council, together with Oxfordshire County Council have developed the LEZ over a number of years, including assessments highlighting the need to reduce the impact of vehicle generated emissions. A joint City-County feasibility study identified the process leading to the development of the LEZ, including consultation with the Bus Operators. (The feasibility reports are not in the public domain and can not be released due to commercial confidentiality relating to bus operators.)

Assessment notes


Used ADMS-Roads linked to EMIT.  Emission factors used were best available at the time but it is now recognised that they failed to account for increases in primary emissions associated with newer buses and those retrofitted with SCR.


The TRC which makes the LEZ a formal requirement comes into force on 1st Jan 2014 but requirements were met in advance via joint working with bus companies.

Main Actor

  • Oxford City Council

Basic details

  • Local authority: Oxford City Council [Tier 2 (district/borough)]

  • Location: Oxford (City) [Region: South East]


  • 23 Jan 14 – Updated 30 Jan 14

Action Type

  • Low Emission Zone
  • Quality Bus Partnership