New bill could restrict diesel drivers
THE Scottish Government has introduced new transport legislation that could restrict the routes available to thousands of diesel cars on Scotland’s roads.
Currently in the provisional stages, the Transport (Scotland) Bill would grant local authorities the power to restrict vehicles which do not meet set emmission standards through the creation of low emmission zones (LEZ).
Should the bill become law, vehicles passing through LEZs would need to produce emissions below a standard set by Scottish ministers. Explanatory notes for the bill suggest this standard is likely to be in reference to the most recent standard set by the European Union – Euro 6.
While legally, all cars produced since 2014 must be compliant with Euro 6 standard, diesel cars produced prior to this date may struggle to meet the standard.
Such cars would therefore be banned from travelling in LEVs, with councils levying a penalty charge for any drivers flouting the rules.
Under the proposed regulation, local authorities would have the power to create a low emission zone scheme within their council area, as well as amend or revoke LEZs, subject to the approval of Scottish Ministers.
Once an LEZ is in place, the new law would provide a grace period for residents to upgrade or replace their vehicle if it falls short of the Euro 6 standard.
Under the Scottish Government’s proposals, exemptions could be made for emergency service vehicles and special events, and ministers may make grants available to help individuals upgrade their vehicles.
Scottish Government transport minister Humza Yousaf commented: “The Transport Bill reflects a period of significant public consultation and engagement.
“This bill will allow for decriminalised enforcement of low emission zones, double parking and parking on pavements. This will help transform our towns and cities into cleaner, more accessible and more pleasant spaces to travel and enjoy.”
A recent study conducted by the environmental group that uncovered the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal found even the most eco-friendly diesels struggle to meet EU emmissions standards in real world testing.
The US based non-profit the International Council on Clean Transportaion found that despite the requirement that all new cars produced since 2014 must be Euro 6 compliant. When road tested, even the most environmentally friendly diesels fall short of the emmissions standards.