Householders, businesses and road users across the area are being urged to make their voices heard as Dundee’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) moves closer.
An eight-week consultation on the final plan for the city’s LEZ launches today (MONDAY) with a programme of meetings set to get underway with community groups, neighbouring local authorities, transport bodies, bus operators, taxi drivers/operators and other interested parties.
Flyers will also be delivered to thousands of addresses inside the inner ring road detailing the plans and encouraging people to take part.
Under the scheme the inner ring road will form the boundary of the LEZ and to achieve air quality compliance for NO2, PM10 and PM2.5 will exclude all non-compliant buses and also keep out older HGVs, LGVs and diesel cars registered on or before August 31 2015 and all petrol cars registered before 2006.
The final outline comes after a previous consultation exercise identified the boundary and vehicle exemptions as the preferred choice in a survey which gathered the views of more than 1300 people.
Mark Flynn convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: “As we get closer to the Scottish Government’s date for implementation of LEZs in the country’s four major cities, we remain committed to ensuring that we continue to engage as fully as possible with as many people, groups and businesses as we can.
“Our proposals have been arrived at through a thorough and detailed process underpinned by experts in air quality, traffic management, health and commercial concerns, as well as significant engagement with communities, interest groups and individuals.”
Lynne Short deputy convener of the council’s community safety and public protection added: “I am confident that this proposed LEZ offers Dundee the best way to improve air quality at those locations in the city where it does not meet current standards.
“So far we have had a well-informed and transparent debate about our air quality, our health and the kind of place we want to be, and with one of the biggest proposed changes to the city in decades now on the horizon, it is as important as ever that as many people as possible take part in this phase of LEZ consultation.”
This stage of the process offers another opportunity for people to make comments on the proposals which could see Dundee introduce its LEZ in spring 2022, in line with the Scottish Government’s current timetable.
A two-year grace period is set out, with enforcement beginning for all vehicles in spring of 2024. There will be no additional grace period beyond that for residents living within the LEZ boundary.
The LEZ will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and be enforced through a network of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras with an initial penalty charge for all non-compliant vehicles entering the zone of £60, reduced by 50% if it is paid within 14 days. The default penalty charges for LEZs have been set by the Scottish Government and are therefore consistent across the country.
An LEZ will contribute to the broader city objectives and the vision to create a healthy, vibrant and attractive city by protecting public health through improving air quality in Dundee and achieving air quality compliance for NO2, PM10 and PM2.5.
Dundee's LEZ will develop an environment that helps to promote more active and sustainable travel choices, contributes to the city's ongoing transformational change and helps to promote Dundee as an inclusive and desirable place to live, invest, visit and learn.
To find out more about Dundee’s LEZ, including traffic modelling, air quality data and the rationale for choosing which areas were included, go to http://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/lez
Anyone who wants to comment on the LEZ can go to https://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/service-area/comments-relating-to-the-low-emission-zone-proposal before August 9.
A further report on the final stages of the process will come before the council’s community safety and public protection committee later in the year.
Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.