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Transport Minister Humza Yousaf today (6 September) launched a consultation on Building Scotland’s Low Emission Zones (LEZs).
The Scottish Government is seeking views on how best to put in place LEZs following a commitment made yesterday to introduce LEZs into Scotland’s four biggest cities by 2020. Additionally, the Scottish Government will shortly announce the location of the first LEZ which will be put in place in 2018.
Mr Yousaf said:
“We have a clear vision for Scotland’s air quality to be the best in Europe. However, poor air quality remains a public health issue, particularly for those with existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.
“This consultation will help us deliver Low Emission Zones that are well designed with consistent national standards, in partnership with Scottish local authorities and regional transport partnerships. Low Emission Zones allow local authorities to set an environmental limit on key transport routes in order to improve air quality by allowing access to only the cleanest vehicles.
“As well as improving air quality low emission zones can also contribute to tackling congestion and improve our urban environments.
“The vehicles to be included in, or be exempt from, LEZs will be for individual local authorities to decide, but could include freight, taxis, buses and private motor vehicles. The consultation also seeks views on issues such as lead-in times, operating hours and enforcement.
“We are consulting on a bold and ambitious vision to make our towns and cities greener and healthier and I encourage anyone with an interest to reply to the consultation.”
James Cant, Director at British Heart Foundation Scotland, said:
“Outdoor air pollution contributes to an estimated 40,000 premature deaths in the UK each year, with a significant impact on cardiovascular health. The evidence is clear, tackling this must be a priority for the Scottish Government. The commitment today to the establishment of Low Emission Zones and of an Air Quality Fund are important steps in the right direction.”
The consultation will be available via the Transport Scotland and Citizen Space website until 28 November 2017. Views can also be shared on Twitter using the hashtag #lezconsultation.