Labour challenge SNP to toughen up low emission zones to tackle climate crisis
Scottish Labour will challenge Nicola Sturgeon today to put "words into action" over the climate crisis by strengthening rules on low emission zones to tackle illegal pollution levels.
Marking world environment day, the party has proposed an amendment to the Transport Bill at Holyrood which would force areas with illegal pollution levels to take action.
The Scottish Government has already provided for the introduction of LEZs in Scotland's four largest cities - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.
The rules ban cars, busses and other vehicles who do not meet strict pollution standards from defined areas.
Introducing his amendment, Scottish Labour’s transport spokesperson, Colin Smyth MSP, said:
“Nicola Sturgeon said the Climate Crisis would mean speeding up action to deliver net-zero emissions. Well this is an opportunity for the First Minister to put words into action.
"Labour’s amendments to the Transport Bill will give councils greater flexibility to get on with delivering LEZs and taking the action needed to tackle air pollution which kills 2,500 people each year in Scotland”
Labour's proposals would remove the current provision of a minimum grace period, meaning the ban on vehicles who fail to meet the standard would come into force quicker unless the Scottish Government specifically approved such a period.
Scottish Labour’s Environment spokesperson, Claudia Beamish MSP, said:
“I’m delighted that World Environment Day has chosen this year’s theme to raise awareness of air pollution.
“My parliamentary motion highlights the importance of solid policy proposals in light of the environment emergency.
“Scottish Labour are taking real steps to amend the Transport Bill to ensure that our Low Emission Zones make rapid progress towards reducing air pollution in our towns and cities.
“My amendment calls on the Scottish Government require prescribed councils to develop low emissions distribution consolidation hubs and low emissions delivery arrangements which would be smaller scale low emission vehicles, bikes and electric bikes. Congestion in our cities and making them better places to live must be tackled and this is one way to address these issues.”