Scotland is poised to introduce new Low Emission Zones (LEZs) within the next month, a move that will see more than a million vehicles banned from four of the nation’s major cities. This initiative follows the successful implementation of Glasgow's LEZ in late 2023, with Aberdeen, Dundee, and Edinburgh now preparing to launch their own zones.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) is spearheading this effort to combat urban air pollution. The expansion of LEZs will result in 1,078,580 vehicles registered in Scotland being restricted from entering these urban areas unless they comply with stringent emission standards, according to data released by the RAC.

Non-compliant vehicles entering a LEZ zone in Scotland could land drivers a hefty fine of £60. Every subsequent breach will see this amount doubled, up to a cap of £480. The full scope of LEZ can be found here.

Dundee will be the first to enforce its new zone on 30 May 2024, marking the start of this new phase in Scotland's environmental policy. Just two days later, on 1 June, both Aberdeen and Edinburgh will follow suit, extending the reach of the LEZs.

“With just four weeks to go until the LEZ becomes operational, this is a good opportunity to remind motorists to double-check if their vehicle is compliant and plan ahead if they are among the small percentage that will no longer be eligible to drive in the zone. Clearly marked routes and online videos will show motorists how to navigate their way around the city centre, safe in the knowledge that we’re ‘clearing the air’. The overarching aim is to help make the city centre a cleaner, greener, healthier and more attractive place in which to live, work and play, while still being accessible to all and with clear health benefits for residents, visitors and future generations,” a spokesperson for Aberdeen’s Let’s Clear the Air commented.

The new policy aims to significantly reduce air pollution in these cities, promoting healthier living conditions and a cleaner environment. The introduction of these zones represents a critical step in Scotland's ongoing efforts to enhance urban air quality and encourage the use of low-emission vehicles.

So far, the rollout of Glasgow's LEZ has faced significant criticism. The initiative has been branded a "shambles" after it was revealed that 40 per cent of the city council's own vehicles still fail to comply with the regulations nearly a year after the zone's enforcement began. Official documents show that out of 1,415 public sector vehicles operated by the SNP-led local authority, 534 are not LEZ compliant.