Low Emissions Zones consultation

Low Emissions Zones consultation Image

COUNCILLORS in Dundee will be asked to support the principle of creating Low Emission Zones (LEZs) intended to improve air quality.

They will also be asked to back the council’s participation in a new LEZ leadership group with the Scottish Government and representatives of Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and SEPA.

Reports set to be considered by the community safety and public protection committee seek backing for a recommended response to the current Transport Scotland consultation on the issue and moves to bring forward the introduction of a LEZ in Dundee.

Alan Ross committee convener said: β€œThere is no question in my mind that more radical solutions are needed to improve the air quality in all of Scotland’s major cities, including Dundee.

β€œBut until we have definitive and specific local data that we don’t expect until next year, it would be premature to give a definitive commitment to introducing a Low Emission Zone at this stage.

β€œHowever the principle of such a bold move is sound and I am sure that our well thought out and positive response to Transport Scotland’s consultation is the way forward.”

In a seven page answer to Transport Scotland’s questionnaire the council identifies challenging timescales, funding, future proofing and external stakeholder involvement as key to the success of delivering LEZs.

According to the response Dundee is reliant on public transport, particularly buses, which β€œform a vital element in the city’s accessibility for work, education and commerce”. The city centre is also a major destination and interchange location for multiple bus services and any LEZ would have to ensure that β€œit did not impact on the availability or reliability of these services”.

It adds that as well as an LEZ other measures would have to be considered including: β€œreduced dwell times, no idling regimes, tackle congestion, providing buses signal priority at junctions and addressing passenger boarding issues”.

Lynne Short convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: β€œThe principle is absolutely sound but a lot of thought and work on the implications for the city need to be considered before we add to the already extensive infrastructure we have in place to support clean air. ”

The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2017 says it will introduce Low Emission Zones into Scotland’s four biggest cities, including Dundee, between 2018 and 2020.

After the consultation closes on November 28 Transport Scotland will collate, analyse and report on its findings.

Meanwhile the committee will be asked to approve a plan for Elaine Zwirlein, executive director of neighbourhood services and Mike Galloway, executive director of city development to take LEZ planning forward for the city.

The community safety and public protection committee meets on Monday (November 13).

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