Residents living near Scotland’s planned low emission zones (LEZs) can now apply for up to two £500 grants to purchase a bike, e-bike or public transport vouchers. The LEZ Mobility Fund will also provide micro-businesses and sole traders with £2,500 to replace each non-compliant vehicle with a compliant one, such as an electric vehicle or e-cargo bike.
The Scottish Government is planning to introduce low emission zones in Scotland’s four largest cities: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Vehicles that do not meet the minimum standard will face a penalty if they enter.
Edinburgh Live reports that in the capital, a citywide zone has been proposed for buses and commercial vehicles, while polluting cars will be subject to a city centre zone. The LEZ was originally due to be introduced this year but have been pushed back due to coronavirus.
The £2m LEZ Mobility Fund, funded by Transport Scotland and administered by the Energy Saving Trust, will provide households within 20km of the LEZ with a grant of £2,000 to take polluting vehicles off the roads. Travel Better incentives of up to £500 will also be made available for each adult in the household with up to two available per household.
‘Micro-businesses’ with nine employees or fewer will be able to secure £2,500 per vehicle. Applicants are of course expected to purchase a vehicle that meets LEZ standards to replace the scrapped vehicle.
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “Low Emission Zones are required to protect public health and improve air quality in our city centres, but the transition in our four biggest cities must happen in a fair and a just way. The LEZ Mobility Fund will provide immediate assistance to households and businesses that are most impacted by the anticipated emission standards – and that will be enforced sometime after 2022.
“Through this support, we’re improving air quality in advance of the introduction of LEZs. We’re encouraging the disposal of non-compliant vehicles and responding to the climate emergency, by encouraging a shift to more sustainable forms of travel within our cities through new Travel Better vouchers.