• Low Emission Zones in Scotland: Are You Ready?

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    • Low Emission Zones in Scotland: Are You Ready?
    • by David Kelly
      Director for Scotland

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    Low Emission Zones are being established in Scotland in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow by Transport Scotland working with the respective local authorities in each city.

    Are you ready?

    Low Emission Zones (LEZs) set environmental limits on certain city roads and restrict access for the most polluting vehicles. Across Europe, LEZs have successfully improved local air quality, reduced car use and reduced carbon emissions as part of efforts to create more accessible, attractive and liveable city centres with lower levels of traffic, higher levels of safety and better public health.

    There are also a number of Clean Air Zones in England, in addition to London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which is expanding to all of the city’s boroughs by the end of 2023.

    Research suggests that ‘long-term exposure to air pollution’ causes more than 600 deaths in Scotland’s biggest cities each year, because poor air quality puts local residents at higher risk of serious health conditions like asthma, heart attacks and strokes. A staggering 1 in every 29 adult deaths in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen can be linked to exposure to deadly toxins emitted by polluting vehicles.

    LEZs are a key intervention to help Scotland reduce car use by 20% by 2030, reach net zero by 2045 and save lives. Enforcement begins very soon in Glasgow on 1 June 2023, while enforcement will not begin in Aberdeen, Dundee or Edinburgh until mid-2024.

    However, we’re urging all Community Transport operators, wherever they are in Scotland, to prepare now. It’s time to consider whether any regular or occasional journeys you deliver might be affected, check whether your vehicles are compliant and make any necessary adjustments to how you operate.

    We’ve produced a new briefing for CTA members as part of our Climate Action programme which contains all the information you need on Scotland’s new LEZs, including:

    • Why and where they are being introduced, including useful street maps;
    • How they will operate and be enforced;
    • Which exemptions will apply and how they can be secured, including for organisational and indvidual Blue Badge holders;
    • What financial support is available for Community Transport operators to adapt and comply, such as the Low Emission Zone Support Fund, which has allocated £8m so far; and,
    • Where to find further information, advice and support, including from CTA.

    You can download our new briefing here.

    You can find out more about our Climate Action programme, including our upcoming Forum meetings on EVs, Car Clubs and Active Travel, here.

    Remember: We’re always here to help! Contact scotland@ctauk.org for advice and support from my colleagues Lara and Duncan, our friendly Development Officers in Scotland.

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