Edinburgh set to implement low-emissions zone in 2022

A low-emissions zone (LEZ) will be implemented in Edinburgh city centre from 2022 if plans receive approval on 17 June, with a two-year grace period. 

The LEZ, as with similar schemes in Bath, Birmingham, London and Oxford, would ban all non-Euro 6 diesel vehicles from spring next year, along with all petrol vehicles that don’t meet Euro 4 emissions standards. 

The decision would mean buses and HGVs would also be banned from the city centre. Local public transport provider Lothian Buses is already aiming to meet compliance standards by the end of the year.

Those who don’t comply with the proposed regulations will face a penalty charge of £60, which will be halved if paid within 30 days. 

Penalties will roughly double for repeat offences within any 90-day period, and the maximum fine for smaller vehicles will be capped at £420, with £900 the maximum charge for HGVs. Fines aren’t expected to start being given until 2024, said the City of Edinburgh Council.

“A great deal of analysis and monitoring has gone into the latest proposals for a low-emissions zone in Edinburgh,” said transport and environment convener Lesley Macinnes. “This takes into account the urgent need to lower emissions for the good of our health, while remaining aware of the impact on local businesses, residents and on traffic patterns.”

“We know from our consultation in 2019 that lowering air pollution matters to everyone, so I look forward to hearing from the public on the preferred option if approved by committee.”

There were initial plans for LEZs in four Scottish cities: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, but the pandemic contributed to delays.

The decision for Edinburgh’s LEZ will be made on 17 June, which is Clean Air Day in the UK.