A new funding scheme has been announced to help prepare for the introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZ) in Scotland’s cities.Â
Scotland’s first LEZ came into effect in Glasgow city centre on 31 December 2018. By 2020, further LEZs will be introduced in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Dundee.
The new Retrofitting Fund will provide targeted grant funding of Â£1.09m in 2019/20 to provide financial support to convert taxi, van and HGV engines or exhausts in order to help commercial vehicles comply with new emission standards to protect public health.
Depending on the uptake, the funding is anticipated to increase every year until 2021/22.
Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, Michael Matheson said: â€˜For taxi drivers, or micro-businesses which rely on their own vans to operate in Scotlandâ€™s cities, we are offering financial support which will enable them to comply with new standards on emissions to improve air quality.â€™
â€˜Scotlandâ€™s four biggest cities are making good progress in establishing Low Emission Zones by the end of 2020 in order to protect public health. Itâ€™s important that people start thinking now about the proposed emission standards and exploring the funding which will be made available.â€™
Cllr Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction said: â€˜We are determined to clean up Glasgowâ€™s air and ensure our city center is a healthier and more pleasant place to be.â€™
â€˜Our Low Emission Zone, which was the first to be introduced in Scotland, complements many of our projects and initiatives that aim to improve air quality, including those which encourage a shift toward active and sustainable travel.â€™
â€˜We have adopted a phased approach to implementation and by the end of 2022, the emission standards required to enter Glasgowâ€™s LEZ will apply to all vehicles. As a council we are working hard to smooth this transition and todayâ€™s announcement of a fund to support taxi drivers, micro-businesses and HGVs is really fantastic news.â€™
In related news, Dundee City Council has published five proposals for the cityâ€™s Low Emission Zone (LEZ), which is set to come into force before the end of 2020.
Photo Credit – Transport Scotland