Two years’ notice for Scottish low emission zones 20 January 2015

The Scottish government has published a consultation document outlining the low emission zone (LEZ) strategy for Scotland, and giving two years’ notice of potential implementation.

It means a Euro 6 LEZ, similar to that proposed for London for 2020, could be in force by 2017 – meaning trucks older than three years by then would be excluded, whil for some van classes those more than one year old would be banned, as well as many two year old diesel cars.

Reacting, the FTA (Freight Transport Association) says it has "strong concern about the unusually short timescales".

"Air pollution in British cities has improved significantly in the last decades, partly thanks to the improvements in van and HGV technology that mean they now have a fraction of the emissions of the past," comments FTA head of urban logistics policy Christopher Snelling.

"We are tightly regulated through the EU's Euro engine standards and these will continue to deliver the air quality improvements required of us, even if no further action is taken," he adds.

Snelling suggests that LEZs have an appeal to campaigners and politicians, as they sound dramatic, while the best practical solutions are often "less exciting".

He cites traffic re-sequencing in key streets as one successful approach.

"The biggest concern in these proposals is the potential timescale," insists Snelling.

"The document notes that 'it is vital to the potential success of an LEZ that affected vehicle owners and operators are given sufficient notice to ensure compliance before the LEZ is established'.

"However, it then states that the notice period should be a maximum of two years – compared to the seven years notice that will have passed by the time London's Euro 6 LEZ comes into force."

"Two years notice might work if what is planned is a lower standard bus-only LEZ – as implemented successfully in Brighton recently," suggests Snelling.

"However, if we are to avoid significant disruption to local economies in town and city centres, commercial vehicles operators need notice periods akin to those being given in London."

Brian Tinham

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Freight Transport Association Ltd

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