Low Emission Zones Introduced In Scotland – Grace Period Information

Low Emission Zones (LEZs) have now been introduced across Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen to protect public health and improve air quality.

Local grace periods until enforcement commences are as follows:

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

LEZs set an emissions limit for certain road spaces, restricting access for the most polluting vehicles to improve air quality. LEZs encourage people to think about using public transport or switching to an electric vehicle.

Vehicles that do not meet the emission standards set for a Low Emission Zone will not be able to drive within the zone. A penalty charge will be payable by the registered keeper of a vehicle when a non-compliant vehicle enters the LEZ.

The minimum emission standards for vehicles permitted within the four LEZs are:

  • Euro 4 for petrol cars and vans (generally vehicles registered from January 2006)
  • Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans (generally vehicles registered from September 2015)

A number of vehicles are exempt from LEZ requirements, including any vehicle a blue badge holder is travelling in. Funding remains available to help people and businesses that need it most to comply with Low Emission Zones. Full information is available at www.lowemissionzones.scot

Using the powers under the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 (and accompanying regulations), local authorities will introduce, operate and enforce their LEZ schemes using Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras. All four cities propose schemes operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Penalty charges are also consistent across the four cities. For non-compliant vehicles found to have been driven within the zone the initial penalty is set at £60, with a subsequent doubling for each contravention, capped at £480 for light good vehicles, and £960 for bus and HGV. The penalty charge is reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days. Where there are no further contraventions detected within the 90 days following a previous contravention, the penalty is reset to £60.

There are a limited number of specific vehicles that are exempt from LEZ regulations as follows:

  • Police
  • Ambulance
  • Scottish Fire and Rescue
  • Her Majesty’s Coastguard
  • Military vehicles
  • Vehicles for disabled persons (including blue badge holders)
  • Historic vehicles
  • Showman’s vehicles

Motorbikes and mopeds are also not within the scope of Scotland’s LEZs.

The Scottish Government is committed to helping those who will have most difficulty preparing for the introduction of LEZs across the four cities.

The LEZ support fund offers three main packages of funding for households, micro-businesses, and a separate retrofit fund including support for taxi drivers. Having been fully subscribed in 2021/22, funding is again available in 2022. Information is available on the Energy Saving Trust website.

Full information on Scotland’s Low Emission Zones is available at www.lowemissionzones.scot.

Further information is available on the relevant local authority pages.