In September 2017, the Scottish Government in their Programme for Government, committed to the introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZs) into Scotland's four biggest cities (Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee) by 2020 and into all other Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) by 2023 where National Low Emissions Framework appraisals advocate such mitigation.
In light of COVID-19 pandemic, the commitment to introduce LEZs into Scotland’s four main cities in 2020 was paused in May 2020.
The LEZ Leadership Group made the decision on the 26 August 2020 to apply a new indicative timeline for LEZ introduction across Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen between February and May 2022.
The Scottish Government are working in partnership with local authorities and Regional Transport Partnerships to introduce LEZs. Engagement with transport organisations, businesses and members of the public is helping support the design of LEZs.
Further information on Scotland's LEZs can be found at the national LEZ website.
Building Scotland's Low Emission Zones Consultation
To support this commitment, a national consultation was launched on 6 September 2017 to help inform the delivery of the Low Emission Zones. The consultation closed on 28 November 2017 with nearly 1000 responses received. The consultation sought views on issues such as LEZ emission criteria, LEZ scope (commercial fleet and private cars) and enforcement/penalties. The responses received will help inform the design of LEZs.
Scotland’s Low Emission Zones: Regulations and Guidance Consultation
The development of the specific LEZ Regulations under the Transport (Scotland) Act required a further consultation to be undertaken and to this end the ‘Scotland’s Low Emission Zones: Consultation on Regulations and Guidance’ was undertaken between 13 December 2019 and 24 February 2020.
The consultation asked questions relating to the key aspects of LEZ regulations and guidance that derive from the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019, with 305 responses received.
This consultation built upon the 2017 'Building Scotland’s Low Emission Zones' consultation.
Delivering Low Emission Zones
A number of groups have been set up to help ensure the implementation of Low Emission Zones is evidence based, robust and will deliver air quality improvements and wider benefits. These include;
LEZ Leadership Group
A 4-Cities LEZ Leadership Group was convened to support the delivery of Low Emission Zones to meet the Programme for Government commitment for LEZs to be established in Scotland's 4 biggest cities.
The group is co-chaired by Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform and Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity.
LEZ Consistency Group
The aim of this group is to support the development of a nationally consistent approach to the implementation of LEZ.
The Scottish Government is working with local authorities to ensure that LEZs are developed in a consistent manner.
The LEZ Consistency Group brings together officials from local authorities and key public bodies to collectively consider issues relating to the design and implementation of LEZs.
LEZ Delivery Groups
LEZ Delivery Groups have been convened for each city, made up of those who have a role in delivery at individual city level. The groups purpose is to oversee the development and implementation of all phases of the LEZ declaration for the city.
Organogram of Governance Groups
National Modelling Framework (NMF)
The National Modelling Framework (NMF) provides a two-tiered standardised approach to modelling air quality in Scotland. This framework is supporting the development of LEZs. Visit the CAFS page for further information.
Detailed models for the cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee have provided evidence for taking direct actions at the city scale to reduce street-level emissions. The regional model will provide a tool for screening and assessing the potential air quality impacts associated with large-scale planned developments across local authority areas. The NMF will help with providing evidence for actions developed through the National Low Emission Framework.
National Low Emissions Framework (NLEF)
The National Low Emission Framework (NLEF) was developed to assist in the appraisal of air quality improvement options related to transport. Together with the National Modelling Framework, it provides guidance on the consistent assessment of Low Emission Zones (LEZs) across Scotland. The NLEF can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/national-low-emission-framework/.
The NLEF document is a commitment of the Cleaner Air for Scotland strategy (CAFS). The NLEF was finalised in line with the findings of the Building Scotland's Low Emission Zone Consultation and published in December 2018.
National Low Emission Framework appraisals of all Scottish Air Quality Management Areas have been undertaken with the results to be published in 2020 as part of the Local Air Quality Management reporting cycle.
Scotland’s first LEZ is now live. Phase 1 of Glasgow's LEZ which focuses on buses, commenced at 23.59 on 31 December 2018.
To find the latest updates for Glasgow's low emission zone please visit https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/LEZ .
Extensive planning and detailed design work continues across all four cities to prepare, consult and implement LEZ plans.