Edinburgh unveils plans for Low Emission Zones

The City of Edinburgh Council has set out proposals for the introduction of Low Emission Zones in the city from as early as next year.

The proposals have been opened to public consultation.

It is proposed that the LEZ would comprise a city centre boundary for all vehicles and a city-wide boundary for selected vehicles. Cars will not be affected by the city-wide boundary.

All polluting vehicles would be affected and entry to an LEZ would incur a penalty, although there will be exemptions in some circumstances.

While the implementation of Edinburgh’s LEZ scheme is proposed to start by the end of 2020, grace periods have been factored in to allow the owners of vehicles time to prepare, with an extended grace period for residents living in LEZ areas.

Within the city centre boundary, the grace period for buses, coaches and commercial vehicles would be until the end of 2021 and to the end of 2024 for cars. Buses, coaches and commercial vehicles will have until 2023 to comply with the city-wide boundary.

After those dates, petrol cars made before 2006 and diesels built before September 2014 will be charged to enter the city centre zone.

“Edinburgh is one of the fastest-growing cities in the UK and it’s clear that we need to take action to build resilience while ensuring a high quality of life for everyone who comes here,” Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said. “Our plans for an LEZ, as part of a broader package of measures to improve sustainability and connectivity across the city, will be central to achieving this.”