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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article20 December 20231 min read

Edinburgh prepares for enforcing its Low Emission Zone

Edinburgh has begun preparing for the enforcement of its Low Emission Zone (LEZ), which is scheduled for 1 June 2024.

 The LEZ was first introduced on 31 May 2022, following approval by the city council’s transport and environment committee and by the Scottish government. It was initially introduced with a 2-year ‘grace period’ where no fines would be given for offence against its rules.

With the end of the grace period coming closer, Edinburgh has now started to prepare for enforcement. The city has started installing various signs at the entry points of the LEZ, informing drivers that enforcement is to start from 1 June 2024, from which penalty charge notices will be issued to vehicles which do not comply with the minimum emission standards. Enforcement of the LEZ will use automatic number plate recognition cameras at the entry and exit points. Petrol cars and vans registered from 2006 and diesel cars and vans registered from 2015 are allowed to enter the zone.

The LEZ covers a large part of the city centre and was introduced after emissions in certain areas of Edinburgh surpassed the legal standards. The city council recognised road traffic as the main source of emissions impacting public health and a significant driver of climate change.

The overriding aim of the zone is to improve the air quality in the Scottish Capital, as Councillor Scott Arthur, transport and environment convenor states: “We all have the right to breathe clean air and it’s our duty to do everything in our power to drive down air pollution and protect public health. The two-year grace period is giving people time to prepare and make sure they avoid penalties once enforcement begins. It’s really encouraging that compliance is on the rise across all kinds of vehicles, with the LEZ helping to accelerate this positive transition towards cleaner vehicles. There’s still some way to go though, and I’d urge everyone travelling into Edinburgh to find out more about the LEZ, the support on offer and options for travelling more sustainably – choosing to walk, wheel, cycle or use public transport is the best way to help keep Edinburgh’s air clean."

For more information on Edinburgh’s Low Emission Zone and exemptions, visit this website.


Article published first at The Herald Scotland on 28 November 2023.



Publication date
20 December 2023
  • Urban Vehicle Access Regulations
  • United Kingdom