Low emission zones to help households travel better

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The Scottish Government has launched the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) Mobility Fund, offering cash incentives and Travel Better vouchers, if non-compliant vehicles are removed from Scotland’s roads.

Administered by Energy Saving Trust, this programme is means-tested and offers help to those most impacted. It provides people and micro-businesses with financial support to travel more sustainably and comply with forthcoming measures to improve air quality and protect public health.

The £2 million LEZ Mobility Fund provides households with a grant of £2000 to incentivise removal of a non-compliant vehicle. Secondly, the Fund will offer up to two £500 mobility grants or Travel Better vouchers to purchase a bike, e-bike or public transport voucher. For micro-businesses, the Fund provides a flat incentive of £2500 per car or van to remove a non-compliant vehicle, replace it with a compliant vehicle, or to invest in an alternative mode of transport such as an e-cargo bike.

In addition, £1 million pounds is again being made available in 2020/21 to support the retrofitting of light goods vehicles, heavy goods vehicles and taxis through the LEZ Retrofitting Fund for micro-businesses. Collectively, these two funding steams represent the Low Emission Zone Support Fund – and both are delivered through Energy Saving Trust.

This funding supports the Programme for Government commitment to restart work on LEZs and supports earlier commitments to help those who will have the most difficulty in making the transition to the introduction of LEZs.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said:

“Low Emission Zones are required to protect public health and improve air quality in our city centres, but the transition in our four biggest cities must happen in a fair and a just way. The LEZ Mobility Fund will provide immediate assistance to households and businesses that are most impacted by the anticipated emission standards – and that will be enforced sometime after 2022.

“Through this support, we’re improving air quality in advance of the introduction of LEZs. We’re encouraging the disposal of non-compliant vehicles and responding to the climate emergency, by encouraging a shift to more sustainable forms of travel within our cities through new Travel Better vouchers.

“For taxi drivers or small businesses that wish to retrofit existing vehicles, in order to comply with forthcoming emissions standards, support remains available. I would encourage everyone to think about how Low Emission Zones may affect them and to visit www.lowemissionzones.scot for the latest information.”

Ellie Grebenik, Senior Programme Manager at Energy Saving Trust said: "The development of low emission zones is essential to reduce road transport pollution, improve air quality across urban areas, enhance people's health and protect our environment. Ensuring a just transition is vital and the Low Emission Zone Support Fund will play a crucial role in encouraging Scottish households and businesses to transition to more sustainable transport alternatives through funding to those who need it most."

Energy Saving Trust’s website has full information and conditions relating to the Mobility Fund.

17/09/20