Fraser aims to Triumph over low emission zones

Murdo Fraser wants his Triumph Stag convertible to be made exempt from low emission zone legislation.
Murdo Fraser wants his Triumph Stag convertible to be made exempt from low emission zone legislation.
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A Scottish Tory politician has been accused of attempting to have his own classic car made exempt from new laws on low emissions.

Murdo Fraser, who drives a 1970s Triumph Stag convertible, has lodged an amendment to the Transport Bill which would exclude his car from Low Emission Zone (LEZ) legislation.

Mr Fraser believes cars built more than 30 years ago should be allowed to drive in the zones, which are being established to tackle air pollution.

However the Scottish Greens said that older cars were more likely to have more severe emissions, and that reducing all pollution from petrol and diesel vehicles was key in tackling the climate emergency.

The Transport Bill, currently being debated in Holyrood, seeks to create LEZs in Scotland's four largest cities - Dundee, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen - by 2020. The Bill would allow councils to create the zones and enforce them, while the government would set national standards for emissions and penalties, as well as any exemptions.

Mr Fraser's amendment asks that vehicles "constructed more than 30 years before 1 January of the year in which it is driven on a road within a low emission zone" are one of those exemptions.

The MSP is known to own both a hybrid car and the Stag - a vehicle made famous when it appeared in the James Bond movie Diamonds are Forever - and has previously posted photographs on Twitter, driving with the car's top down through the Perthshire countryside in the summer.

Scottish Green environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “Low Emission Zones have the potential to massively improve the air quality in our towns and cities, while moving away from petrol and diesel powered vehicles more broadly is vital in addressing the climate emergency. Like his car, Mr Fraser’s amendment belongs in a museum.”

But Mr Fraser said: “Unlike the Bamm-Bamm Greens who want to take us back to the Stone Age, Scottish Conservatives believe that our transport heritage should be celebrated and enjoyed.

“Historic vehicles account for just 0.2% of total traffic, so the notion that they make a significant contribution to emissions is nonsensical. The London LEZ already exempts them, so there is a clear precedent here.”

A recent report from UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said we should aim to fully switch over to electric vehicles by 2030, and no later than 2035. The Scottish Government has said it wants to phase out new petrol and diesel cars by 2032.