Scotland’s first low emission zone is operating in Glasgow and more will be starting soon – in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.
Their introduction will help protect the health of the public by improving air quality and addressing pollution hotspots, which are principally caused by road traffic.
Low emission zones set minimum emission standards all vehicles must meet to be able to access each zone. While these won’t be confirmed until the Transport (Scotland) Bill is published, the following is proposed:
- Euro six engines for diesel cars
- Euro four engines for petrol cars
- Euro VI for heavy diesel vehicles (including older vehicles retrofitted to operate as Euro VI).
Glasgow’s low emission zone is only targeting buses until the end of 2022 at which point it will apply to all vehicles.
As of September 2019, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen are yet to confirm when their LEZ enforcement begins.
Electric and ultra-low emission vehicles
Electric and ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV) can be driven into Scotland’s low emission zones.
ULEVs in particular have been rising in popularity and there are now more than 12,000 in Scotland with demand outpacing the rest of the UK since 2017.
This has been stimulated by support from the Scottish Government which has provided more than £40m through its Low Carbon Transport Loan scheme.
A further £17m has been pledged, as part of its Programme for Government 2019-20, to support the scheme which is administered by the Energy Saving Trust: https://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/scotland/grants-loans/electric-vehicle-loan
Investment has also led to Scotland having one of the most comprehensive charge point networks in Europe and it’s growing all the time. Find out more about the ChargePlace Scotland and its locations here: https://chargeplacescotland.org/
Embracing active travel is a great way to avoid having to drive into a low emission zone.
If you don’t have far to travel, why not walk or cycle there? If your journey is longer, why not walk or cycle to the bus stop, railway station or other form of public transport?
Either of these approaches can not only save you money but help you get fit into the bargain.
And how fit you get is entirely up to you thanks to the rise in popularity and effectiveness of battery assisted e-bikes which let you decide how hard you work. There are also e-cargo bikes which make it even easier to carry everything you’re likely to need.
Click on these links for the Energy Saving Trust e-bike loan and the Energy Saving Trust e-bike grant fund for local authorities, public sector agencies, further and higher education institutions, active travel hubs and community groups.
All of the cities setting up low emission zones have comprehensive public transport systems which should make it easy to travel without a car.
You can find out more about the public travel options by clicking onbelow:
If it’s necessary for you to drive into a low emission zone then why not car share with someone else and potentially help cut emissions?
Please see examples of the car sharing options available in each of the cities which will be introducing a low emission zone:
Find out more about the locations of pay-per-trip car clubs across Scotland and the rest of the UK on the CoMoUK website map: https://como.org.uk/shared-mobility/shared-cars/where/