Low Emission Zones (LEZs) to improve air quality are to be introduced across Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen between February 2022 and May 2022, according to Transport Scotland.
The LEZ Leadership Group, which includes Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham and representatives from Glasgow City Council, The City of Edinburgh Council, Dundee City Council, Aberdeen City Council, Public Health Scotland and SEPA – have agreed an indicative timeframe to introduce LEZs across Scotland’s four largest cities.
This new indicative timeframe takes account of various legislative and regulatory steps which need to be taken by the Scottish Government and local authorities prior to the introduction of LEZs.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, Transport Scotland said that this was not a finalised timetable for introduction but a commitment by all partners to work as quickly as they can to introduce LEZs at the earliest juncture.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “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.
“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.”
Local authorities will continue to explore grace periods following introduction and will balance the needs of businesses and residents with the urgent requirement to tackle pockets of poor air quality in our biggest cities. Glasgow has already introduced the first LEZ which applies to buses only at this time.
Development of the regulations and guidance will confirm the steps to be taken to introduce LEZs (such as examination processes which could have an impact on the final timeframes for introduction).
The movement of formal introduction may impact local decisions around implementation and grace periods, which may be between 1 and 4 years as decided by the local authority.
£4.5 million was made available through the Public Transport Provision Fund in 2019/20, to local authorities and regional transport partnerships in order to establish LEZ related projects in their areas. In addition, we provided half a million pounds to local authorities to progress their LEZ designs.