Scottish Parliament updated on Low Emission Zones

The Cabinet Secretary for Transport has provided an update to the Scottish Parliament today on Low Emission Zones.

From 1 June 2024, all four of Scotland’s largest cities have been fully enforcing Low Emission Zones (LEZ). The significant public health intervention restricts the access of the most polluting vehicles in order to protect health, improve air quality and support a shift towards more sustainable transport.

The Cabinet Secretary reaffirmed to the Parliament, the clear scientific and medical consensus, that there is no safe level of air pollution. Ms Hyslop referenced the latest research from the University of Dundee demonstrating that respiratory admissions in children were significantly associated with elevated level of air pollution in the area.

The statement outlined the support that’s been provided by the Scottish Government since 2019 to help those that need it most with the cost of the transition to compliant vehicles and to shift to more sustainable forms of transport. Parliament was informed about the LEZ exemptions for Blue Badge holders, where over 15,000 people have already registered. The Cabinet Secretary also offered thanks to the four local authorities for their focus and determination to deliver the LEZs.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport Fiona Hyslop said: “The work behind the scenes in undertaking the detailed assessment and design of the LEZs has been underway for a long time. In addition, extensive marketing and awareness raising campaigns undertaken since 2019 have helped drivers and businesses around the country, by allowing ample time to prepare for the LEZs.

“The inconvenience to drivers of these vehicles pales in comparison to the life changing impacts of harmful air pollution. I would like to think all members of this chamber see the LEZs for what they are – a reasonable and proportionate response to a very real public health issue that has gone on largely ignored for far too long.”


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