Businesses operating commercial vehicles in four of Scotland’s largest cities can access a new fund, designed to help them prepare for the introduction of Low Emission Zones (LEZs).
The Scottish Government has committed to implement LEZs in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee by the end of 2020.
Through the new Retrofitting Fund, worth £1.09 million in 2019/20, it is aiming to help businesses comply with new emissions standards.
The fund will provide financial support to help companies convert taxi, van and HGV engines or exhausts to greener alternatives.
Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, said: “For taxi drivers, or micro-businesses which rely on their own vans to operate in Scotland’s cities, we are offering financial support which will enable them to comply with new standards on emissions to improve air quality.
“The Retrofitting Fund will open later this month and I would encourage interested businesses and black cab taxi drivers to register on the LEZ website for further information.
“Scotland’s four biggest cities are making good progress in establishing LEZs by the end of 2020 in order to protect public health. It’s important that people start thinking now about the proposed emission standards and exploring the funding which will be made available.”
Glasgow leads the way
Scotland’s first LEZ became operational in Glasgow last year – in a move designed to make the city centre ‘more pleasant and attractive’ for those living, working and visiting.
Glasgow City Council has adopted a phased approach to implementation and by the end of 2022, the emission standards required to enter Glasgow’s LEZ will apply to all vehicles.
At present, the LEZ only applies to local service buses – with cars, HGVs and vans to follow.
As a result, the council has welcomed the new funding, saying it will help to smooth the transition for businesses.
Cllr Anna Richardson, Glasgow’s city convener for sustainability, said: “We are determined to clean up Glasgow’s air and ensure our city centre is a healthier and more pleasant place to be.
“Our Low Emission Zone, which was the first to be introduced in Scotland, complements many of our projects and initiatives that aim to improve air quality, including those which encourage a shift toward active and sustainable travel.”