First and foremost, I believe it is important to recognise the many potential benefits LEZs can bring in regards to tackling air pollution in Scotland’s towns and cities. Air pollution continues to have an impact on people's health and evidence shows that poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in Scotland.
However, the timescales for the implementation of LEZs should be clear to allow time for industry and small businesses to adapt. It appears that the Scottish Government may have raced ahead with plans for these zones before thorough preparation could take place. The Road Haulage Association has said that a “longer implementation period” is needed before fines are introduced to avoid “further confusion and potentially unintended consequences”.
It is vital that the Scottish Government listens to the views of local businesses and industry on this issue before launching LEZs. It is equally important that any policy which is introduced cleans up the environment without punishing hardworking employers. These zones must be brought in carefully and with consideration to all who will be impacted.
Last updated January 2020