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Dundee Low Emission Zone: Everything you need to know

By Mathilda Bartholomew | May 30, 2024

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Starting May 30, 2024, all vehicles that don't meet emission standards, except motorcycles, will be fined for driving within the Dundee Low Emission Zone. Here's everything you need to know...

Dundee Low Emission Zone: Everything you need to know

Dundee launched a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in 2022 to clean up the city's air, promote sustainability, and curb pollution. Now, the two-year grace period given by the council for residents and visitors to adjust to the new rules is coming to an end on May 30, 2024. After this date, hefty fines will be slapped on non-compliant vehicles driving in the city without paying the daily penalty.

For details on where the zone covers, its impact on different vehicles, and the costs involved, keep reading.

Check if your vehicle is compliant in Dundee's clean air zone here.

What is a Low Emission Zone (LEZ)?

A Low Emission Zone, or LEZ, is an area where only vehicles meeting specific emission standards are allowed to enter. This means not all vehicles are affected, and most drivers can still access the city center without any issues.

However, vehicles that don't meet the emission standards will be fined for entering the zone. Some exemptions exist regardless of emission standards, such as for blue badge holders, motorbikes, mopeds, and emergency vehicles.

The aim of LEZs, according to the Scottish government, is to enhance air quality in city centers.

Councils mention that the fines collected will be reinvested to help Scotland achieve its net-zero and clean air targets.

Why is Dundee’s LEZ scheme being introduced?

Dundee's LEZ is being introduced to address remaining air quality issues despite improvements since the AQAP's inception in 2011. It's part of the city council's commitment to meet Scottish Air Quality Objectives. The LEZ aligns with Dundee's Climate Action Plan, aiming to reduce greenhouse emissions by restricting high-emission vehicles, promoting sustainability, and fostering an environmentally-conscious city.

What area does the Dundee LEZ cover?

The Dundee LEZ covers areas neatly outlined by the A991 Inner Ring Road. Notably, Bell Street, Wellgate, and West Marketgair NCP car parks are presently exempt from the scheme.

When will the Dundee LEZ be introduced?

The Dundee LEZ Scheme technically began on May 30, 2022. However, residents and visitors driving non-exempt vehicles within the LEZ were given a two-year grace period from that date. During this time, enforcement of the scheme's rules was not in effect. This grace period extends until May 30, 2024, after which enforcement will commence for all drivers.

Which vehicles will be affected by Dundee's LEZ?

The LEZ follows similar rules to other zones in Scotland, targeting older, high-polluting vehicles. If your vehicle doesn't meet these criteria, it will be impacted:

- Petrol cars and vans need to meet Euro 4 emission standards (usually those registered from 2006).

- Diesel cars and vans must adhere to Euro 6 emission standards (typically vehicles registered from September 2015).

- Buses, coaches, and HGVs must meet Euro VI emission standards (usually vehicles registered from January 2013).

If you're unsure whether your vehicle meets the criteria, you can use Regit's free ULEZ check to find out whether your car is compliant in all of the UK's low emission zones. 

What vehicles are exempt from the Dundee LEZ?

Here are the categories excluded from penalties:

- Motorcycles and mopeds

- Vehicles in the disabled tax class or disabled passenger tax class

- Police vehicles

- Ambulance and emergency service vehicles

- Scottish Fire and Rescue vehicles

- His Majesty’s Coastguard vehicles

- Military vehicles

- Registered historic vehicles

- Registered Showman’s vehicles

What are the fines for non-compliant vehicles entering the Dundee LEZ?

Once the two-year grace period ends and the LEZ is fully operational in May 2024, it will be active 24/7, monitored by automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.

Non-compliant vehicles will face penalties when enforcement begins. The initial breach incurs a £60 fine, which can be halved if paid within 14 days.

Subsequent violations within the same LEZ double the penalty. There's a maximum charge of £480 for cars and light goods vehicles, and £960 for buses, coaches, and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The penalty resets to £60 if no further breaches occur within 90 days.

What assistance is available for Dundee locals?

The Scottish government, through the Energy Saving Trust, provides funding for eligible households and businesses as part of the Dundee LEZ Scheme.

For households:

- Eligible households can receive up to £3,000 in support. This includes £2,000 for safe disposal of a non-compliant vehicle and up to £1,000 through the 'Travel Better' program, promoting active and shared transport options.

For businesses:

- Eligible businesses can access a £2,000 grant for safe disposal of non-compliant vehicles. Additionally, businesses can apply for up to £1,000 towards the purchase of cargo or e-cargo bikes for business use.

- The Dundee LEZ Retrofit Fund helps micro-businesses retrofit non-compliant vehicles with approved solutions. Applications are currently closed due to budget allocation, but eligible applicants are being processed and placed on a waiting list for future funding.

- Loans are available through the Energy Saving Trust to support the purchase of electric vehicles, e-bikes, and cargo bikes for business use.

Support for local organisations:

- Free advice and support are provided to local organisations to explore lower-carbon travel alternatives. Dundee Cycle Hub offers assistance in implementing cycling within organisations, funding advice, and free E-Cargo Bike Loans.

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