Background to the Low Emission Zone

About Low Emission Zones

Low Emission Zones (LEZs) are a well-established way of reducing harmful emissions from road transport. They are in place in many european cities, from Brussels to London.

Scotland’s LEZs have been in development since 2016. We have been committed to exploring how a LEZ would improve Edinburgh’s air quality since 2017. The 2017 / 18 Scottish Government’s programme for Government supported the introduction of LEZs in Scotland following the recommendations which were outlined in the national Cleaner Air for Scotland Strategy (CAFS).

CAFS has provided processes to make sure that LEZs are developed using evidence from research. These processes include the National Modelling Framework (NMF) and National Low Emission Zone Framework (NLEF). This work was done in partnership with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and other key stakeholders.

We are committed to delivering greener and healthier transport across the city. This is shown in many of our strategies for developing our city includingChild on a scooter with one foot in the air Local Air Quality Management.

The LEZ is one important tool to help us achieve our ambitious targets, including net zero emissions by 2030.      

We had to pause work to develop Edinburgh's LEZ due the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. The national timeline was amended so that Scotland's LEZs could be put in place between February and May 2022.

You can find more information on LEZ Scotland website.