Developing low emission zones in Scotland
Legislation, policies and stakeholder engagement will help ensure the development and implementation of low emission zones in Scotland is evidence based, robust and will deliver air quality improvements and wider benefits.
The Transport (Scotland) Bill
Introduced to the Scottish Parliament in June 2018 and currently progressing through the Parliamentary process, this will provide legislation that enables the creation and civil enforcement of low emission zones.
The Bill will allow the Scottish Government to set consistent national standards for a number of key aspects of low emission zones including emissions, penalties, certain exemptions and parameters for grace periods. Local authorities will then have the powers to create, enforce, operate or revoke a low emission zone in their areas and to design the shape, size and vehicle scope of their low emission zone.
Cleaner Air for Scotland (CAFS) Strategy
Scotland’s first distinct air quality strategy sets out how the Scottish Government and its partner organisations propose to further reduce air pollution to protect human health and fulfil Scotland’s legal responsibilities as soon as possible. The strategy aims to achieve the ambitious vision for Scotland "to have the best air quality in Europe". This includes commitment to a nationally consistent approach to the appraisal, design and implementation of low emission zones through the application of a National Low Emission Framework (NLEF), in conjunction with a National Modelling Framework (NMF).
National Modelling Framework (NMF)
Detailed air quality modelling by SEPA and extensive traffic data collection is being undertaken in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee to support air quality modelling for low emission zones. The NMF will support low emission zones through a standardised two-tier approach to modelling air quality (at city and region level), and by providing evidence to support action and development of the NLEF.
National Low Emissions Framework (NLEF)
The NLEF was finalised in line with the findings of the Building Scotland’s Low Emission Zone consultation and the experience of putting in place the first low emission zone in Glasgow. The NLEF will help local authorities to consider a range of air quality improvement options related to transport.
CAFS Governance Group (Scottish Government)
Supports implementation of the CAFS (Cleaner Air for Scotland) strategy with actions managed by sub-groups covering communication, place-making, transport, health and climate change.
Four Cities Low Emission Zones Leadership Group
Convened to support the delivery of low emission zones, this group is co-chaired by Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, and Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity. Meetings are held each quarter.
Low Emission Zone Consistency Group
Supports the development of a nationally consistent approach to the implementation of low emission zones in Scotland, bringing together officials from local authorities and key public bodies to collectively consider issues relating to their design and delivery.
Low Emission Zone Delivery Groups
A low emission delivery group will be convened for each city made up of those who have a role in delivery at individual city level. This includes transport planning, traffic engineering, air quality, planning and legal and finance specialists, Transport Scotland, SEPA and other relevant local organisations.
The delivery groups will oversee the design, development and implementation of all phases of the low emission zone for each city.
National Transport Strategy (NTS)
Transport Scotland is currently reviewing the NTS and will present an updated vision for Scotland’s transport system and how it can be delivered. The review will seek to identify the most effective means of reducing transport’s local (air quality) and global (climate change) emissions, which will include consideration of low emission zones.