Elected members have agreed for East Lothian Council officials to investigate a collaborative arrangement with City of Edinburgh Council to include Musselburgh within their proposed Low Emission Zone.

The decision was taken at today’s (Tuesday 10 September) Cabinet meeting.

The introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZs) results from the Scottish Government’s Transport (Scotland) Bill of June 2018. The Bill is divided into six parts, Part 1 introducing the concept of Low Emission Zones.

A LEZ is a scheme whereby driven vehicles that fail to meet a specified emission standard will be prohibited from driving within a designated area. A person who permits a vehicle, that does not meet the criteria, to enter the zone will receive a penalty charge notice (PCN), which will be payable unless a vehicle exemption is in place.

City of Edinburgh Council has proposals for two LEZs, one covering an area designated as the ‘city centre’ for all vehicles and another wider one applying only to commercial vehicles that extends to the city’s boundaries. The proposals have been open for consultation and fuller details are expected to be confirmed in 2020.

Environment spokesman, Cllr Norman Hampshire, said: “As a neighbouring authority to Edinburgh their plans for LEZs will also have an impact on both local residents and businesses travelling to the city. We have provided a thorough response to their initial proposals but are also now seeking more detailed discussions to possibly include Musselburgh within a joint LEZ.”

“It is recognised that around 80% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) concentrations result from traffic emissions and these pollutants can be harmful to peoples’ health. These levels can only be reduced by tackling polluting vehicles and so improve air quality. As part of Musselburgh has been designated an Air Quality Management Area it seems to sensible to explore including the town within Edinburgh’s LEZ to support our air quality aims.”

“East Lothian Council will consult with local communities and businesses on LEZ proposals to make sure that any vehicle restrictions are introduced within acceptable timescales.”

Published: Tuesday, 10th September 2019