Get ready!

Air Quality

Scotland’s Low Emission Zones were introduced in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow on 31 May 2022. This will be in addition to the bus only LEZ in Glasgow established in 2018.

Local grace periods now apply until enforcement begins.

  • In Glasgow, the LEZ already applies to buses. For other vehicle types, enforcement will start on 1 June 2023 (1 June 2024 for residents within the zone)
  • Dundee will start enforcement on 30 May 2024
  • Aberdeen will start enforcement on 1 June 2024
  • Edinburgh will start enforcement on 1 June 2024

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 will also contribute to Scotland’s carbon reduction targets, by realising the co-benefits of encouraging people to use cleaner vehicles, more public transport and more active travel such as walking, wheeling and cycling.

Low Emission Zones set minimum emission standards all vehicles must meet to be able to access each zone. The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 provided the legislation to create and enforce Low Emission Zones. The national standards for Low Emission Zones are now confirmed within regulations.

The confirmed minimum emission standards are:

  • Euro 4 for petrol cars and vans (generally vehicles registered from 2006*)
  • Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans (generally vehicles registered from September 2015*)
  • Euro VI for buses, coaches and HGVs (generally vehicles registered from January 2013*)

*These dates are only indicative - please check with your vehicle manual or the manufacturer to confirm.

Electric and ultra-low emission vehicles

Fully electric and ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) can be driven into Scotland’s Low Emission Zones.

ULEVs are rising in popularity. There are now more than 12,000 in Scotland, with demand outpacing the rest of the UK since 2017.

This demand has been stimulated by support from the Scottish Government which has provided over £85 million to help people make the switch to ultra-low emission and electric vehicles through its Low Carbon Transport Loan scheme. The loan is now being expanded to help people who may otherwise be put off by the high purchase price of electric vehicles. Read more on the Low Carbon Transport Loan Scheme here.

Delivered through Energy Saving Trust the loan will enable people and businesses to benefit from cheaper running costs compared with petrol and diesel vehicles whilst supporting Scotland’s world leading net-zero target and air quality objectives.

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 charging locations here.

Active Travel

Embracing active travel is a great way to avoid having to drive into a Low Emission Zone.

Leaving your car at home and choosing to walk, wheel or cycle instead is a simple way to keep fit, improve your wellbeing and help Scotland reduce its air pollution levels and greenhouse gas emissions.

If you live close to a Low Emission Zone in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh or Glasgow why not choose public transport or active travel for your journey? You could consider walking, wheeling or cycling to places close by, or to a bus stop or railway station if your journey is a bit longer.

Choosing active travel is not only a great way for you to stay active and keep fit, but will also help you to save money, improve your health and wellbeing, all while helping to reduce air pollution levels.

How fit you get is entirely up to you! Regular walking, wheeling and cycling can help you increase your fitness levels while using an e-bike lets you decide how hard you want to work. If you have lots to carry about town, you could consider getting an e-cargo bike. Interest-free loans are on offer from the Scottish Government. Find out more about support available through the Energy Saving Trust.

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.

If you are an employer seeking to promote sustainable travel in your workplace, visit waytoworkscot.org/

Further information on active travel and the funding opportunities available can be found on the Transport Scotland website:

Active travel

Active Travel funding opportunities

Public transport

All four cities with Low Emission Zones have comprehensive public transport systems which should make it easy for you to travel around without a car.

You can find out more about the public transport travel options by clicking on the links below:

Aberdeen Council

Dundee Travel Info

Transport for Edinburgh

Strathclyde Partnership for Transport