Public feedback helps inform Edinburgh's Low Emission Zone plans
A report setting out progress on Edinburgh’s ambitious vision for a Low Emission Zones (LEZ) is set to come before the city’s Transport and Environment Committee on Friday (October 11).
The City of Edinburgh Council has reported on the latest stage in the project, publishing the findings of a public consultation on LEZ proposals held between May and July.
Strong consultation response
The consultation received more than 2,700 responses to the online survey alone. Views were also shared by stakeholder groups, neighbouring local authorities in the South East Scotland region, members of the public and through engagement with 60 primary school children during a Clean Air Day event in Edinburgh.
The consultation found broad support for the types of vehicles to be included in the LEZ boundaries, with 62% supporting the citywide boundary and 54% in favour of the city centre boundary, while there were mixed views on the length of grace periods before enforcement is introduced. Another key theme was for further refinement of the two boundaries (the city centre and city wide) to be considered, particularly for the city centre boundary.
Transport and Environment Convener affirms ambitions for Low Emission Zone
Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener, said: “Tackling poor air quality in our densely-populated city centre is one of our top priorities and is reflected in our bold LEZ proposals. At the same time, we want to ensure our plans are robust, are supported by strong evidence and are in line with other major projects and strategies. The significant public feedback we’ve received, along with ongoing work to develop the scheme, is vital to continuing to shape the plans.
“Ultimately, we want to reduce the risk that air pollution poses to public health and wellbeing to negligible and protect those most vulnerable such as children, older people and those with health conditions. The changes we will see from LEZs are about continuing to capitalise on our beautiful and dynamic city and making sure it has all people at its heart.”
Next steps for Low Emission Zone proposals
Edinburgh’s LEZ proposals aim to improve air quality for people across the city by tackling pollution from vehicles and have been developed in partnership with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Transport Scotland. LEZs in Edinburgh are being progressed in close alignment with a number of strategies aiming to enhance placemaking and connectivity in Edinburgh, including City Centre Transformation and the City Mobility Plan.
The next steps for the project will involve consideration of feedback from the consultation alongside ongoing impact assessment and modelling work, in line with the national guidance.
The outcome will be a revised set of proposals for the Transport and Environment Committee to consider in February 2020.
Read the full report, Edinburgh’s Low Emission Zones – update, on the Council website.