Aberdeen's Low Emission Zone comes into force as drivers warned of new rules

The new LEZ is officially in force across Aberdeen city centre
-Credit: (Image: BIG Partnership)

Aberdeen's new Low Emission Zone (LEZ) has officially gone live today, Saturday June 1, with fines to be issued to motorists driving inside the zone with a non-compliant vehicle.

It comes a year on from the Glasgow LEZ launch, with the scheme also now active in Edinburgh from this weekend; Dundee's LEZ launched on Thursday.

The zone has been introduced to reduce serious health risks by improving air quality in the city centre following extensive modelling, planning and consultation by Aberdeen City Council.

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They say it has led to the optimal LEZ for Aberdeen that carefully balances the impact on air quality with the impact on residents and businesses in the city centre.

The LEZ already exist in major cities across the UK and Europe and the introduction in Scotland is part of a Scottish Government initiative which seeks to address the serious health problems, particularly among children, arising from poor air quality in city centres.

Concentrated around Union Street and the surrounding streets, the zone covers 0.5% of the city centre – an area measuring just under 1km squared.

The LEZ covers some of the city centre's busiest streets
The LEZ covers some of the city centre's busiest streets -Credit:Aberdeen City Council

Ten of the 14 city centre car parks can still be accessed without entering the LEZ, including Harriet Street and Loch Street.

The Let’s Clear the Air campaign, developed in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Getabout, was launched in April to provide clear information on the LEZ.

This includes where the LEZ is, how to check if a vehicle is compliant, how to access funding to help switch to more sustainable transport, why the LEZ is being introduced and how to get around the city centre in a non-compliant vehicle.

Air pollution puts the population at risk of serious health conditions such as asthma, respiratory infections, allergies, heart attacks, strokes and other chronic diseases.

A spokesperson for Let’s Clear the Air said: "Now that the LEZ is operational, we strongly encourage motorists whose vehicles are not compliant to consider alternative, sustainable methods of transport or switch to cleaner vehicles where possible.

"Support remains available and I would encourage anyone who wants to know if their vehicle is compliant, or to find out more about funding, to visit www.lowemissionzones.scot.

"If that is not possible, drivers can use the resources online to plan ahead and choose alternative routes around Aberdeen. Clearly marked routes are available to show motorists how to navigate their way around the city centre, which is still open for business and open to all.

"The LEZ will help make the city centre a cleaner, greener, healthier and more attractive place for everyone, with very clear health benefits for residents and visitors of all ages, as well as future generations."

Dundee’s LEZ came into force on May 30 and Edinburgh’s also came into force today (June 1), while Glasgow’s LEZ was enforced 12 months ago.

The Scottish Government is providing £5million to re-open the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) Support Fund for 2024-25. For the fifth year in a row, the popular fund continues to offer cash incentives and Travel Better credits, if non-compliant vehicles are removed from Scotland’s roads.

Delivered through Energy Saving Trust, this programme is means-tested and offers help to those most affected by the introduction of LEZs. It provides people and micro-businesses with financial support to travel more sustainably and meet the established air quality standards which will improve air quality and protect public health.