Capital’s clean air ambitions still being scuppered by some types of vehicles

DIESEL cars, light goods vehicles and taxis have been found to be the main culprits, in terms of complying with clean air ambitions for Edinburgh city centre – according to findings published by the local authority.

Using data garnered from tracking vehicle registration plates, the Scottish Government agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), found the lowest compliance in the city’s ‘low emissions zone’ (LEZ) was among diesel cars (50 per cent), light goods vehicles (65 per cent) and taxis (73 per cent).

However, overall compliance figures, for all vehicles, was up: over the last six years, from 48 per cent to 78 per cent.

Says a City of Edinburgh Council announcement, here: “A city centre LEZ was formally introduced in Edinburgh on May 31 [last year], along with LEZs in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.

“To help improve air quality and protect public health, Edinburgh’s LEZ will restrict the most polluting vehicles from the boundary, which will significantly reduce harmful traffic-related emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by up to 50 per cent. Further air quality improvements are expected across the wider city.

“A two-year grace period is in place and no penalty charges will be issued during this time to help people and businesses adjust. From June 1 2024, any vehicles that don’t meet the minimum emission standards will be subject to penalties.”

The zone covers Tollcross in the south, to Palmerston Place in the west, along Queen Street in the New Town, to Picardy Place, around Abbeyhill and onto Holyrood Road, along the Pleasance in the east, and before heading back along the Meadows to Tollcross.

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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