Grant support helps dad dispose of car and get two bikes for cleaner, healthier active travel
A family in Edinburgh is enjoying a healthier and more sustainable way of travelling after they swapped their car for two bikes with the support of two grant funds.
Dad Sharafaldin Gaidom, 35, received an initial grant for disposing of his older car through Scotland’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) Support Fund for households. He was then able to buy an e-bike and a standard bike for his wife with the support of the Travel Better Fund.
LEZs, which were introduced in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow on 31 May 2022, are aimed at protecting public health by improving air quality through keeping the most polluting vehicles out of the city centres.
Sharafaldin, who lives with his wife and son in West Pilton, said: “Before I started cycling, I used my car for work and shopping, and I used it quite often.
“I decided to apply for the Low Emission Zone Support Fund to help the environment, stay fit and healthy and save money, as I was spending a lot of money on petrol, parking, insurance and road tax.”
Funded by Transport Scotland, the LEZ Support Fund is administered by Energy Saving Trust (EST) and is available for eligible households living within a 20km radius of a Low Emission Zone to help prepare for LEZs if their vehicle doesn't meet the required emission standards.
Eligible households can claim up to £2,000 towards the safe disposal of a non-compliant vehicle. Following the successful disposal of the vehicle, additional funding is available in the form of Travel Better grants for two members of the household, to put towards the purchase a bike, an e-bike, shared transport credits such as for car clubs or city bike hire schemes or public transport passes for bus or rail.
“I was very satisfied with the application process through Home Energy Scotland,” said Sharafaldin. “The process was very easy and simple. I got useful information over the phone from an advisor, and I learned about the fund and the LEZs.
“The money I received from the Travel Better Fund has helped me buy my e-bike. I wouldn't have had the money to buy the e-bike without the fund. Now I use my e-bike to travel everywhere. For example, for work, shopping, visiting my friends and family.
“Cycling helps me to save some money and improves my health. It has really changed my life!”
Vehicles that drive in LEZs have to meet certain minimum emission standards. Generally, petrol cars registered from 2006 and diesel vehicles registered from September meet these requirements.* LEZs will be enforced for all vehicles on 1 June 2023 in Glasgow city centre, on 30 May 2024 for vehicles in Dundee city centre and on 1 June 2024 for vehicles in Aberdeen and Edinburgh city centres. When enforcement begins non-compliant vehicles which enter the LEZ will receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). Certain exemptions will apply – find out more about those here.
For more information about the LEZ Support Fund for households, visit: https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/grants-and-loans/low-emission-zone-support-fund-for-households/?ref=LEZ
Alternatively, you can contact your local Home Energy Scotland centre on 0808 808 2282 to check your eligibility and to request an application form.
For more information on LEZs, visit lowemissionzones.scot/about
*These dates are only indicative - please check with your vehicle manual or the manufacturer to confirm.