Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Older cars to pay Edinburgh city centre levy

Map Image copyright City of Edinburgh Council
Image caption A map of the proposed boundary for the low emission city centre zone

Older cars will have to pay to enter Edinburgh city centre under plans to improve air quality.

Edinburgh City Council has set out proposals to introduce low emissions zones, with older cars being charged a levy to enter.

There would be another wider city-wide zone which would only apply to buses, coaches and commercial vehicles.

The plans will be discussed by the council's transport and environment committee next week.

While the implementation of Edinburgh's LEZ scheme is proposed to start by the end of 2020, grace periods have been factored in to allow the owners of vehicles time to prepare, with an extended grace period for residents living in LEZ areas.

Within the city centre boundary, the grace period for buses, coaches and commercial vehicles would be until the end of 2021 and to the end of 2024 for cars.

Buses, coaches and commercial vehicles will have until 2023 to comply with the city-wide boundary. Cars will not be affected by the city-wide boundary.

After those dates petrol cars made before 2006 and diesels built before September 2014 will be charged to enter the city centre zone.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The city council is bringing in low emission zones in a bid to improve air quality

Lesley Macinnes, City of Edinburgh Council's transport and environment convener, said: "Tackling air pollution benefits everyone - residents, commuters and visitors - particularly the most vulnerable members of society.

"Like cities across the UK and globally, we are committed to improving air quality and realising the health benefits this will bring.

"Edinburgh is one of the fastest-growing cities in the UK and it's clear that we need to take action to build resilience while ensuring a high quality of life for everyone who comes here.

"Our plans for an LEZ, as part of a broader package of measures to improve sustainability and connectivity across the city, will be central to achieving this."

John Bynorth, of Environmental Protection Scotland, said: "Edinburgh has raised the bar for Low Emission Zones in Scotland backed by a big mandate from people living and working in the city who wanted to see change to improve the city's health and encourage people out of their cars.

"Around 75% of the 5,000 respondents to the city's consultation document last year said they agreed with restrictions on vehicles to control and improve air quality.

"Edinburgh has cemented its reputation as a world leader for getting people out of their motor cars and into cycling, walking and using public transport more often."

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