Agenda item

By Councillor McFarlane - Low Emission Zones

By Councillor McFarlane - Low Emission Zones


1)       Notes that LEZs help to improve air quality by discouraging the most polluting vehicles from entering a specified area - helping to improve public health and wellbeing and Edinburgh’s legal obligations on improving air quality.

2)       Notes that the Low Emission Zone guidance states there is an exemption for historic vehicles, which is defined as:

·       The vehicle was manufactured or registered under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994, for the first time at least 30 years ago.

·       The vehicle is no longer in production, and

·       The vehicle has been historically preserved or maintained in its original state and has not undergone substantial changes in the technical characteristics of its main components.

3)       Understands that this vehicle class is a national exemption and is subject to The Low Emission Zones (Emission Standards, Exemptions and Penalty Charges) (Scotland) Regulations 2021.  As such, Edinburgh’s LEZ enforcement system will automatically ‘whitelist’ all vehicles over the age of 30. It is then the responsibility of the Council to remove vehicles from the whitelist, if they do not meet the legal definition.

4)       Notes that whilst this exemption may be proportionate in scale for personal use historic vehicles, there are wholly commercial operations operating primarily or totally within the Edinburgh LEZ that utilise polluting historic vehicles in their fleet.

Understands that the hours spent driving around the LEZ for commercial purposes far surpass the normal residential use of a historic vehicle and therefore is a significant and above average contributor of vehicle emissions.

5)       Requests officers explore the feasibility of removing commercially operating historic vehicles from the Low Emission Zone exemption whitelist, with an update provided to the Transport and Environment Committee Business Bulletin within three cycles.”