Edinburgh Low Emissions Zone

Closed 21 Jul 2019

Opened 27 May 2019


In 2018, the Council carried out one of its largest ever consultation programmes, ‘Connecting Our City, Transforming Our Places’. Of those responding to the consultation, 75% agreed that restricting access for the most polluting vehicles to the city centre and wider city should be considered as one way to control and improve air quality.

The City of Edinburgh Council is consulting on proposals to introduce a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) to reduce pollution from traffic. It is estimated that around 80% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) concentrations are directly attributed to traffic emissions. Pollutants caused by vehicle emissions are largely invisible, but these gases and particulates can be hazardous to human health.

There is a growing body of scientific evidence that has established links between air pollution with ill health. Reducing pollution will help improve the health and wellbeing of people who live, work or visit the city, particularly those vulnerable to pollution such as children, older people and those with health conditions.

Edinburgh has a number of Air Quality Management Areas due to traffic related air pollution. The proposals include a LEZ which applies both to the city centre for all vehicles, and city wide for only commercial vehicles (buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles, light goods vehicles, vans, taxis, and private hire cars).

Edinburgh’s LEZ will be one of four in Scotland as part of the Scottish Government’s national Low Emission Zones programme, alongside Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee. LEZs reduce pollution caused by vehicles by restricting access for polluting vehicles that fail to meet minimum emission standards (which are set nationally).

In line with Scottish Government Commitments, Edinburgh is planning for its LEZ scheme to be in place at the end of 2020. Owners of the different types of vehicles will have a grace period before enforcement starts. This is to allow owners time to make suitable alternative arrangements.

Why your views matter

Scottish Government is developing legislation setting out the detail of how LEZs will operate, to ensure consistency across LEZs in Scotland. This framework will cover issues such as the emissions standards for vehicles, penalty rates, exemptions for specific vehicles, and enforcement.

To inform how we should implement the proposed LEZ in Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Council is seeking your view on key aspects including: the proposed boundaries, the types of vehicles affected, grace periods (how long different vehicle types should have to comply), and wider views on how the LEZ might impact upon your transport choices.



  • All Edinburgh


  • Anyone from any background


  • All interests