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Low Emission Zone

A low emission zone or LEZ is an area in which harmful emissions from private vehicles are reduced. While Edinburgh has made some progress in reducing the levels of harmful air pollution, there are still areas within the city where pollutants are of concern and may cause a threat to human health. Road traffic in the form of private vehicles is the leading cause of these emissions and are contributing to climate change. A city centre low emission zone will reduce these harmful emissions, improve air quality, and allow Edinburgh to strive to be a net zero emissions space by 2030.

How does the Low Emission Zone work?

The Low Emission Zones will restrict entry of vehicles into certain parts of Edinburgh City centre depending on their emission standards. Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) fines will be issued to vehicles driving within the LEZ that do not comply with the minimum emission standards. The zone will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The zone will come into effect from 31 May 2022 onwards but there will be a two-year ‘grace’ period before penalty charges will be applied. The first fixed penalty notices will be issued from June 2024. The LEZ will be enforced with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras and sign-posted at entry and exit points. The LEZ will apply to all vehicles that do not meet the standards or have not received an exemption.

Where is the Low Emission Zone in Edinburgh?

The boundary of the LEZ circles the city centre. All vehicles are permitted to drive outside of the boundary without penalty. Cameras and signage will be erected before the June 2024 start date of penalties and it will be obvious when you are entering the LEZ. Before June 2024, some changes to roads, traffic signals and pedestrian crossings are being put in place to improve the flow of road users around the city centre. The boundary for the LEZ is;

  • Tollcross in the south
  • to Palmerston Place in the west
  • along Queen Street in the New Town
  • to Picardy Place
  • around Abbeyhill and onto Holyrood Road
  • along the Pleasance in the east
  • before heading back along the Meadows to Tollcross.

Check your Vehicle

Before entering the LEZ or planning a trip to Edinburgh by car, first check if your car meets the criteria to enter the zone without penalty. Entry into the LEZ will be based on the Euro emission engine classification standards that are used both internationally and nationally. All zero-emission vehicles, including electric vehicles, meet the LEZ minimum emission standards. You can check emission standards for the Edinburgh LEZ and other Scotland LEZ’s with the online vehicle checker tool. The checker does not provide an exemption status and cannot check foreign vehicles. Some vehicles will be allowed into the LEZ, whether they meet the standards or not. These include vehicles for people with disabilities, including people who have Blue Badges, historic vehicles, showman’s vehicles, emergency vehicles and military vehicles. You need to apply for these exemptions in advance of travel as they are not automatically applied.

Getting Around Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of Scotland’s most walkable cities and depending on your purpose of travel you might find that you do not need a car to see the best of the city. Many of the major attractions in our historical city centre are easily accessible on foot and taking a car may end up being a hindrance rather than a help. Getting to and from the airport to the city centre is very easy using a tram, train, bus or taxi. A tram is the quickest and easiest way to get around. They depart every 7 minutes, between 7 am and 7 pm, and every 10 minutes early in the morning and later in the evening. The tram takes approximately 35 minutes from the airport and it’s a 10-minute walk to our serviced apartments in Edinburgh.

Book central accommodation in Edinburgh so you can explore the city without the need for a car. PREMIER SUITES Edinburgh is perfectly located to explore on foot and just 10 minutes from the closest tram stop for onward travel. Book your stay in our serviced apartment accommodation in Edinburgh and explore like a local.

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Sep 2019
Sep 2019
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