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Scotland launches first Low Emission Zones

The formal introduction of Scotland’s first four Low Emission Zones (LEZs) marks “a truly significant public health moment” for the country. That’s the assessment of Jenny Gilruth, Scotland’s minister for transport.

Plans had been agreed at the local authority level but have now also been approved by Scottish ministers, as required in legislation through the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019. This paves the way for the introduction of LEZs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. 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).

Jenny Gilruth said: “The introduction of Low Emission Zones is a truly significant public health moment for Scotland. Our air quality is generally good – but for too long air pollution has exceeded legal limits for health in our city centres as a consequence of unrestricted vehicle emissions.

“We have a moral responsibility to act. Air pollution often disproportionally impacts those with the least in our society. It causes the most damage to the youngest, the oldest and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

“LEZs are the biggest change we’ve ever seen in how vehicles will access our cities – and they need to be, in order to best protect public health and improve air quality.”

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