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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Pollution on Aberdeen city centre roads 'already low' a year ahead of controversial LEZ launch

An investigation discovered that, according to monitoring stations in the city, the likes of nitrogen pollution was already found to at a low level a year ahead of the introduction.

Pollution levels on some roads covered by Aberdeen's controversial new Low Emission Zone (LEZ) due to be introduced next year are already rated 'low' for pollution according to new data.

The schemes being introduced in cities across Scotland will ban heavy polluting vehicles from entering certain areas or risk a fine.

It is estimated the cost will exceed £600,000 and include cameras to catch rule-breakers.

However the cost will be covered by Scottish government transport body Transport Scotland and is a bid to cut down on city centre pollution.

Huge parts of the city centre will be covered with some 36 entry points into the zone, extending from Holburn Street in the west, to Virginia Street in the east.

But data obtained by the Mail on Sunday from monitoring stations in central Aberdeen showed they all rated 'low' for nitrogen dioxide and other toxic particle levels.

It is estimated more than one million vehicles will be unable to drive in the LEZs once they all become operational- with Glasgow's. being introduced at the start of next month.

Chief executive of the Scottish Wholesale Association Colin Smith said: 'The LEZs are affecting our members who can't get costly replacement vehicles and end-users such as pubs, clubs and restaurants in city centres all need supplied.

'If emission levels are already low, then the question would have to be, do we need this?

'We would like a pause on implementation of LEZs to give businesses further time to adjust."

Scottish Tory transport spokesman Graham Simpson said: 'If air quality in our major cities is within legal limits or even "excellent", it can logically only mean one of two things. Either the levels are inadequate, or the LEZs are unnecessary window-dressing."

Glasgow City Council said: "It is likely a large part of the drop in air pollution levels is due to the improvement in emissions from the city's bus fleet given the introduction of the first phase of our LEZ in 2018."

Transport Minister Kevin Stewart said: "It's welcome news LEZs are already having a positive impact on air quality ahead of wider enforcement."

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