Low-emission zones formally begin in Scotland's four largest cities

Low-emission zones (LEZs) are formally beginning in four Scottish cities, although enforcement will not begin for at least a year.

Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee are introducing LEZs in order to improve air quality, with many older vehicles banned from city centres.

Grace periods are now in place for the four cities, with enforcement due to begin on different dates.

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In Glasgow, the LEZ is already in place for buses and will apply to other vehicles from June 1, 2023, with the grace period for residents extended to June 1, 2024.

Where the LEZ will operate in Glasgow Pic: Glasgow City Council

In Edinburgh and Aberdeen, enforcement will begin on June 1, 2024.

In Dundee, enforcement begins on May 30, 2024.

Penalties for bringing a non-compliant vehicle into the LEZ will typically be set at £60, halved to £30 if paid early.

Petrol cars and vans will need to have engines at the Euro 4 standard, which generally applies to vehicles registered after 2006.

Edinburgh's LEZ is the largest and most ambitious in Scotland Pic: Edinburgh City Council

Diesel-powered cars and vans will need to be at the Euro 6 standard, mainly applying to vehicles registered after 2015.

Blue badge holders are exempt from LEZ requirements, which are aimed as cutting air pollution and encouraging greater use of public transport.

Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth said: “The introduction of low emission zones is a truly significant public health moment for Scotland.

“Our air quality is generally good – but for too long air pollution has exceeded legal limits for health in our city centres as a consequence of unrestricted vehicle emissions.

The LEZ map shows where the restrictions apply in Dundee Pic: Dundee City Council

“We have a moral responsibility to act. Air pollution often disproportionally impacts those with the least in our society.

“It causes the most damage to the youngest, the oldest and those with pre-existing medical conditions.”

She continued: “LEZs are the biggest change we’ve ever seen in how vehicles will access our cities – and they need to be, in order to best protect public health and improve air quality.

“With a year to go until the earliest point of enforcement in Glasgow and two years to go until enforcement in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen, I encourage everyone to visit www.lowemissionzones.scot to find out more about the schemes, including the Scottish Government funding on offer.”

The introduction of the LEZ will bring major changes to travel in Aberdeen Pic: Aberdeen City Council

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