"A Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is a geographically defined area where the most polluting vehicles are restricted, deterred or discouraged from access and use"
Examples are found in Greenwich, Oxford, Bath and London. Other cities looking into LEZs include Sheffield, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Leeds.
Although schemes generated within the CARE North study would impact the whole City, the main focus is on the city centre as it forms the hub of all trips. Here, both hourly and daily concentrations of NO2 and PM10 are regularly exceeded, and transport and traffic are the main contributors. An Air Quality Management Area has been declared for the City Centre and Aberdeen City has produced an Air Quality Action Plan to address the air quality problems. In terms of the problem, freight and buses cause 80% of the air quality issues but only represent 20% of the traffic within the city centre. Whilst the larger vehicles are more polluting it is the other vehicles on the road that result in them polluting even more as they get caught up in traffic.
A Consultant is undertaking the work on a feasibility study for the LEZ and the Scoping Assessment is now complete and the Detailed Assessment is underway. The options being considered in detail are:
- A Bus LEZ covering the city centre AQMA or all routes within the City
- And an HGV LEZ covering Market Street and Virginia Street – ie routes to and from the harbour area
A range of complementary measures to support the LEZ with the aim of making the LEZ work more effectively, and more acceptable to those most affected include route signage, signage to discourage vehicle idling, management of loading and waiting restrictions and traffic management measures. ACC is also determining possible alternatives to full LEZ including reassessment of road hierarchy and traffic management measures.
We will also look to adopt a freight and bus friendly strategy for enabling movements as quickly and efficiently as possible, whilst allowing for upgrades to newer, cleaner technologies.