Guide to Low-Emission Zones in Scotland

As environmental consciousness rises globally, Scotland has taken significant steps to reduce urban air pollution. The introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZs) in its major cities—Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh—represents a pivotal move towards cleaner air and healthier living conditions. This guide by Aberdeen Taxis aims to provide an overview of the LEZs, their implementation, and the regulations governing vehicle compliance.

Low Emission Zone Aberdeen

Overview of Scotland’s LEZs

What Are Low Emission Zones?

Low Emission Zones are designated areas where only vehicles meeting specific emission standards are permitted entry. These zones are designed to reduce air pollution from traffic, thus improving public health and environmental quality in urban areas.

Cities with LEZs

  • Glasgow: Initiated in the summer of 2023, Glasgow’s LEZ aims to curb air pollution in the city centre.
  • Dundee: Dundee’s LEZ came into effect on May 30, 2023, focusing on the area within the A991 inner ring road.
  • Aberdeen: Aberdeen introduced its LEZ on June 1, 2023, covering Union Street and the surrounding city centre roads.
  • Edinburgh: The capital city followed on June 1, 2023, with its LEZ encompassing Princes Street, the Old Town, and notable landmarks.

Key Regulations and Compliance

Vehicle Emission Standards

Vehicles entering LEZ areas must meet the following standards to avoid penalties:

  • Petrol Cars and Vans: Must comply with Euro 4 standards, typically applicable to vehicles registered after 2006.
  • Diesel Cars and Vans: Must comply with Euro 6 standards, generally applying to vehicles registered after September 2015.
  • Fully Electric Vehicles: Automatically comply with LEZ requirements.


Certain vehicles and drivers are exempt from LEZ restrictions:

  • Emergency Vehicles
  • Motorbikes and Mopeds
  • Blue Badge Holders: Must register in advance if their vehicles are non-compliant and lack the disabled vehicle/disabled passenger vehicle tax class.

Enforcement and Penalties

Enforcement is carried out through Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras linked to local and national vehicle databases. The penalty structure is as follows:

  • First Offence: £60, reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days.
  • Subsequent Offences: Penalty doubles with each breach, up to a cap of £480 for cars and Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs) and £960 for minibuses, buses, coaches, and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs). If no further breaches occur within 90 days, the penalty resets to £60.

Vehicle Compliance Check

A national online vehicle checker, linked to the DVLA database, allows drivers to verify if their vehicle meets LEZ requirements.

Detailed Zone Information


Aberdeen’s LEZ encompasses Union Street and surrounding roads. Notable car parks outside the LEZ include Union Square, Gallowgate, West North Street, Frederick Street, and Denburn.


The LEZ covers the city centre, bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, the River Clyde to the south, and Saltmarket/High Street to the east.


Dundee’s LEZ includes the area within the A991 inner ring road, excluding specific car parks such as Bell Street, West Marketgait NCP, and Wellgate. The Overgate Shopping Centre is included, but the Tay Road Bridge remains accessible to all vehicles.


Edinburgh’s LEZ covers Princes Street, the Old Town, and significant landmarks like Edinburgh Waverley Station, St James Quarter, the Scottish Parliament, and Edinburgh Castle.

Government Support and Funding

Since 2019, the Scottish government has invested over £13 million through the Low Emission Zone Support Fund. This funding has facilitated:

  • Disposal or retrofitting of more than 4,000 non-compliant vehicles.
  • Retrofitting over 450 taxis with cleaner technology.
  • Purchase of more than 2,000 bikes, e-bikes, or cargo bikes for homes and businesses.

Impact and Future Outlook

Environmental and Health Benefits

Transport Secretary Fiona Hyslop emphasised the significance of LEZs for public health, stating that the initiative is a major step in reducing vehicle emissions, which disproportionately affect the youngest, oldest, and those with pre-existing conditions. The long-term vision is to join over 320 European cities in combating air pollution and making urban centres more livable.

Sustainable Transport Transition

The Scottish government’s commitment to sustainable transport is evident in the support provided for cleaner vehicle technologies and the promotion of cycling and other eco-friendly transport options

Aberdeen Taxis

Taxi Travel with Aberdeen Taxis

At Aberdeen Taxis, we’re dedicated to getting you wherever you need to go in Aberdeen and the surrounding areas, safely and on time. Sit back, relax, and take in all that Aberdeen has to offer while we handle your transportation needs.

Forget about the hassle of negotiating the LEZ in Aberdeen finding expensive parking or skipping a drink to be the designated driver. With Aberdeen Taxis, you can enjoy your time out and leave the driving to us. Plus, our friendly drivers might even share some insider tips on the best places to visit!

Booking your Aberdeen Taxi is easy through our convenient platforms:

  • Call Aberdeen Taxis at 01224 200200
  • Visit us at our office: 5 Crown Street, Aberdeen AB11 6HU

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