LEZ Aberdeen protest after more than £80,000 spent on advertising low emission zone ahead of scheme going live

Left to Right: John Wheeler and Douglas Lumsden on Denburn Road

A FREEDOM of Information request has revealed that Aberdeen City Council has spent more than £80,000 on advertising the city’s low emission zone (LEZ) ahead of the scheme going live on Saturday (1st June).

New figures show the local authority has spent £83,000 on LEZ “communications and advertising” amid backlash after a recent survey found more than 90% of people are opposed to the zone.

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Transport Scotland has also spent money on advertising the scheme.

In a separate freedom of information request, the council said 59 of its vehicles are still not compliant with the LEZ just days before it goes live but these will be replaced in “due course”.

It has also emerged the council has not granted an exemption to any public sector vehicles other than emergency services, which have been given national exemption.

Scottish Conservative candidate for Aberdeen South, John Wheeler, who will be attending the protest, visited Denburn Road over concerns about the locations of the LEZ signs.

He believes they are placed too far down the road, meaning motorists have no opportunity to turn back when they realise they are about to enter the LEZ.

John Wheeler said: “Aberdeen’s LEZ zone will hammer hard-pressed motorists with older vehicles who can’t afford to replace them.

“These restrictions are a matter of days away from being imposed on people yet the council themselves have failed to get their own house in order.

“It’s little wonder that a protest has been organised on Saturday which I hope to attend with campaigners to make voices heard. 

“Signage is not clear enough and in a lot of cases, are in the wrong position, meaning it is too late to turn back by the time motorists notice they are entering the LEZ.

“It’s appalling that dozens of the council’s own vehicles do not comply with their own law yet they are about to impose fines on people for the same issue.

“Several businesses, including the taxi trade, believe the LEZ could threaten their future which is why both Aberdeen City Council and the SNP Government must listen to any concerns on what impact the scheme is having on them when it goes live.”

In response to a question from Scottish Conservative North East MSP Liam Kerr in parliament, transport secretary Fiona Hylop revealed that the council has the powers to make modifications to the scheme. 

Mr Kerr is hoping to ask an FMQ on the matter on Thursday.

Campaigners against the controversial LEZ are holding a protest on the first day of the scheme (Saturday 1st June) at the Castlegate at 12am.

People are encouraged to bring signs and banners in opposition to the LEZ, which will ban “high-polluting vehicles” from entering almost 120 streets across the city, including Union Street.

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