New survey shows overwhelming majority opposition to Aberdeen’s LEZ

A map of the Aberdeen LEZ area

A NEW survey has shown a majority of granite city residents oppose the new LEZ measures set to be introduced at the end of next month, and fear it could harm the city further.

The new LEZ initiative, announced by the Scottish Government, is set to come into force on the 31st May 2024. It has already been rolled out in Glasgow and will be in place across Scotland’s 4 largest cities. Driver’s vehicles who do not comply with LEZ standards will be banned from many major streets and face large fines if they enter those areas.

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Of the 2,752 survey responses at the time of reporting, 90.1% oppose the initiative, while 88.9% say they will be less likely to visit the city centre due to the LEZ.

City campaigner David Laing, who organised the survey, stated: “The survey shows Aberdonians’ clear objection to the new LEZ and is another blow to the out of touch council administration. After the whole bus gate saga, the last thing Aberdeen needs is more restrictions and reasons for people not to visit the city centre. At a time where household budgets are tight, forcing families to fork out for new vehicles is beyond ridiculous. The LEZ risks hurting not helping the environment, forcing longer journeys and increasing congestion. It’s time the council’s leaders listen to the overwhelming majority opposed to the LEZ and take action to stop the scheme before it comes into force next month.”

In response to the survey results, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Councillor for Lower Deeside, Duncan Massey stated:

“This is another important survey, highlighting that the Aberdeen public do not support the numerous damaging anti-motorist policies coming from the council.

Unfortunately, the council continues to ignore public opinion, even from their own consultations. They continue to push disproportionate policies that make life difficult for motorists, cost a lot of money whilst having a very minor impact on the stated aim of increasing cycling.”

After reading the results, Lower Deeside Councillor Independent Group Leader, Marie Boulton said:

“The survey clearly demonstrates the lack of support for the LEZ. Whilst the council is required to bring forward measures to deliver the government’s commitments on climate change and reduce emissions, people don’t think this is the right solution. The LEZ will simply push more traffic into residential areas as people have to avoid the streets where it is in force, which creates more emissions and reduces road safety, forcing cars into areas where children are walking or cycling to school.

“The vast majority of people I have spoken to are already avoiding the city centre and the LEZ may only make things worse. We need to find serious solutions that will welcome people back to our city centre, not create further reasons not to visit.”

Aberdeen City Council co-leader Councillor Ian Yuill commented: “The decision to introduce a Low Emission Zone in Aberdeen was taken by the Scottish Parliament, not the city council.

“The objective of the LEZ is to improve public health by banning the most polluting vehicles from our city centre and so improving air quality. This is a key element of making the city centre a more attractive place for people to live and has been strongly supported by the NHS.

“The final boundary of the LEZ was signed off by the former Labour and Conservative council leaders at Aberdeen City Council. The city council has delayed the enforcement of the Low Emission Zone as long as is legally possible but must begin enforcing it from June 1 this year.”

David Laing’s unofficial survey opened on Sunday and closes today, and can be assessed here.

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