Transport Minister for Scotland, Humza Yousaf, has announced that 95.5% of respondents to a consultation support the principle of Low Emission Zones (LEZ) to help improve air quality.
The responses from Transport Scotland’s consultation ‘Building Scotland’s Low Emission Zones‘ were published on Wednesday 13th March.
The consultation focused on the proposals for LEZs to improve air quality with a view from Transport Scotland that LEZs should also act as a means to improve road network operations and tackle congestion, support modal shift to active travel and public transport and finally, support climate change mitigation.
The consultation asked important questions relating to the design of LEZs in Scotland and the responses will help inform the LEZ policy making process, helping to shape the guiding principles that the Scottish Government will adopt to design, establish and operate Scottish LEZs.
Humza Yousaf, said: “This is another important step in delivering our vision for Scotland’s air quality to be the best in Europe. This consultation has given the public, businesses and transport operators the platform to share their views on important issues relating to the scope and lead-in times for LEZs.
“These zones will improve air quality, tackle congestion and help improve our urban environments, however, it is critical that this is done in a consistent manner and in partnership with local authorities, industry and regional transport partnerships.
“To that end, I am delighted that this important consultation received close to one thousand responses from a variety of sectors, with 95.5% of respondents supporting the principle of LEZs to help improve air quality in Scotland.
“This government has made a bold commitment to introducing LEZs into Scotland’s four biggest cities between 2018 and 2020.”
In total, 967 responses were received to the consultation. There was a high level of consensus among respondents with 95.5% supporting the principle of LEZs to help improve air quality in Scotland
Almost two-thirds (62.3%) of respondents agreed with the proposed minimum mandatory Euro emission criteria for Scottish LEZs.
The proposed minimum criteria as set out in the consultation document is Euro 6 for diesel cars, Euro 4 for petrol cars and Euro VI for buses (including older retrofitted engines which would be improved to operate as Euro VI).
The views provided showed that the most popular suggestion was for LEZs to operate 24 hours, 7 days a week. The views provided also showed a high level of consensus with 91.6% in favour of using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to enforce LEZs. Those who disagreed had privacy concerns with the use of ANPR.