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Scotland seeks council for low emission zone pilot

The Scottish Government has announced that air quality modelling is currently being commissioned to support the development of a pilot low emission zone (LEZ) project, which it said will run in partnership with a local authority.

The Scottish Parliament buildings in Holyrood, Edinburgh

The Scottish Parliament buildings in Holyrood, Edinburgh

A local authority partner has not yet been chosen, but a spokesperson for the devolved authority said it “will be engaging with local authority partners to identify the area where it would be most appropriate to develop transport modelling to support the subsequent implementation of a low emission zoneâ€?.

The spokesperson added: “We will work with that partner council to develop the most appropriate analytical tool and subsequent arrangements for a low emission zone, both in terms of appropriate actions but also precise timelines.â€?

According to the Scottish Government, the LEZ would see any vehicles which do not meet required emissions standards in a specified area restricted or deterred through fee charging from entering the zone.

The pilot is part of the Scottish Government’s Low Emission Strategy, which is currently being finalised after it was launched for consultation in January (see AirQualityNews.com story).

The announcement comes as part of a package of measures aimed at tackling climate change – covering energy, environment and transport – which were revealed yesterday (June 10) by the Scottish Government.

Other measures

Other measures announced include the re-launch of a policy to tackle traffic pollution and congestion on the school run, based on the results of an investigation into existing school transport choices and what influences them, the Scottish Government said.

The package also features a ‘multi-annual’ commitment to sustainable and active travel, including the launch of a second Future Transport Fund, as well as continuing support for the low carbon buses initiative and Smarter Choices for Smarter Places – which aims to encourage more people to reduce their car use.

First announced in January 2012, the Future Transport Fund saw £20.25 million made available to boost sustainable transport, such as cycling infrastructure, freight modal shifting and low carbon buses, in 2015/16.

Furthermore, measures were announced to roll out ‘innovative flaring technology’ to two further landfill sites in Glasgow and East Lothian, backed by £500,000 of funding. Landfill flaring is used to treat methane gas emissions from decomposing waste in order to control odour, health risks and adverse environmental impacts.

This technology has already been used to remove the equivalent of more than 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide – roughly the equivalent of 13,889 passengers making return flights between Edinburgh and New York – from two landfill sites in the Borders, the Scottish Government said.

Announcing the measures following a visit to a housing energy efficiency project in Dumbiedykes in Edinburgh, the Scottish Government’s climate change minister Aileen McLeod said: “There is no silver bullet to tackling climate change which is why we are building on previous actions and announcing a comprehensive package of measures across a range of sectors.â€?

Dr Mcleod added: “Scotland is on track to meet our ambitious emissions targets ahead of schedule, with these latest figures for 2013 showing we are more than three quarters of the way there with seven years still to go.

“The figures published today also highlight how significantly Scotland’s progress depends on the policies and actions of others – especially the UK and EU. In the run up to Paris, I will continue to press the international community to look to Scotland and follow our example in striving for the highest global ambition to tackle climate change.â€?

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