The Scottish Government has confirmed plans to introduce Low Emission Zones across Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen between February and May 2022, having been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The timetable is still provisional, “due to the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 both now and in the future, and not a finalised timetable for introduction”, said the Government statement.
Glasgow has already implemented phase one of a LEZ at the end of 2018, which applies only to local buses, and the City Council’s website said it is planning to extend it to all vehicles by the end of 2022, while Edinburgh is still to make its final plans public, having reported back on a consultation late last year into city centre and city-wide zones and the type of vehicles that should be included.
Aberdeen’s latest plans involve barring diesel that don’t met Euro6 and petrols that don’t meet Euro4 emissions standards, with the latest pkans being for a public consultation later this year, and Dundee is a little less structured, with the City Council stating that the Covid pandemic has had a “major impact” on pollution levels and travelling behaviour, although some parts of the city were still above legal levels of air pollution.
“The Scottish Government and members of the Low Emission Zone Leadership Group are committed to introducing LEZs across Scotland’s four biggest cities as quickly as possible,” said cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity Michael Matheson. “LEZs are key to improving air quality, protecting public health and supporting Scotland’s wider climate change ambitions by encouraging more sustainable transport options.
“With the indicative timeline now established, planning continues at a local authority level and the Scottish Government will continue to develop the required regulations as well as providing funding to help people and businesses prepare.”
The Scottish Government announcement said that local authorities will continue to exploe grace periods following the introductions and “balance the needs of businesses and residents with the urgent requirement to tackle pockets of poor air quality in our biggest cities”.