SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION ON LOW EMISSION ZONES

Written on the 1st November, 2017

 Closing Date: 28th November 2017

  • Introduction

 

Low Emission Zones (LEZs) are mechanisms to improve air quality by restricting the movement of highly polluting road vehicles. This can be done in two ways: either by prohibiting certain types of vehicles that emit high levels of exhaust emissions or by levying a charge on high emission vehicles entering the LEZ.  Of course, some cities could use a combination of both approaches by, for instance, banning HGVs while charging the most polluting petrol and diesel cars.  The level of pollution is set by the emissions set.  The least polluting vehicles have Euro VI engines and more polluting engines are Euro V, IV and so on down.

Low Emission Zones (LEZs) can also have a major effect on traffic congestion and this can be seen by the use of the phrase congestion charge in London. In the Low and Ultra Low Emission Zones planned in London, charges are based on the pollution levels of vehicles.  This week has seen an extra £10 charge for vehicles entering the Low Emissions Zone with engine below Euro IV standard.  This will lead to a charge of £21.50 and will affect vehicles manufactured before 2006.

Some European cities have worked by progressively banning vehicles from the Low Emission Zone. Amsterdam began by banning HGVs and now have moved onto older petrol and diesel cars.

It is the intention of the Scottish Government to introduce LEZs in the four largest Scottish cities – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen- between 2018 and 2020 and into all Air Quality Management Areas by 2023.

There are no Air Quality Management Areas in Clackmannanshire or Stirling Council area but there are zones in Falkirk, Fife and Perth and Kinross.

  • Air Quality and Health

 

Vehicle emissions are one of the major contributing to early deaths due to respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis.   There is also a strong link to heart disease and cancer and a growing link to Alzheimer’s Disease although more research is needed’s.   It is estimated in Scotland that there are over 2,500 premature deaths a year caused by air pollution.  A major problem is with the emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NOx) and tiny sooty particles.    The most polluted street in Scotland in 2016 was Hope Street in Glasgow which had, on occasions, NOx levels at more than 60% the legal limit.  Other streets with dangerous levels of NOx included Atholl Street, Perth; Seagate Dundee; St John’s Road and Queensferry Road, Edinburgh; Dumbarton Road, Glasgow.

The following roads did not meet the safety limits for tiny sooty particles. These include West Bridge Street, Falkirk; High Street, Crieff; and Glasgow Road, Edinburgh.

  • What types of questions are asked in the consultation?

 

The consultation asks a wide range of questions starting from general questions about LEZs and air quality. It looks at the levels of air pollution caused by vehicles to determine which vehicles should be affected by an LEZ.  It asks for views about whether vehicles should be banned or face a charge for entering an LEZ and the Scottish Government seems to favour a banning of highly polluting vehicles.

The consultation asks about retrofitting vehicles to make them eligible to enter the LEZ. For instance, Transport for London has recently announced an £ 85 million scheme to covert 4,500 buses to Euro VI emissions standard.  This is the highest standard and lowest emissions available for petrol and diesel engines.

There are questions about consultation and lead-in times to introduce a LEZ and then a series of questions linking to other environmental policies and Climate Change.

 

For further details contact : Jon Jordan  on 01259 781404

 

 

 

 

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