LOW-EMISSION zones (LEZs) are set to formally begin across four of Scotland’s cities in a “truly significant public health moment for Scotland", Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth has said.

Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee are introducing LEZs in order to improve air quality, with many older vehicles set to be banned from city centres.

Grace periods are currently in place for the four cities with enforcement not set to begin for another year.

Gilruth said: “The introduction of low emission zones is a truly significant public health moment for Scotland.

READ MORE: HSBC senior banker suspended after saying climate warnings are 'wrong'

“Our air quality is generally good – but for too long air pollution has exceeded legal limits for health in our city centres as a consequence of unrestricted vehicle emissions.

“We have a moral responsibility to act. Air pollution often disproportionally impacts those with the least in our society.

“It causes the most damage to the youngest, oldest and those with pre-existing medical conditions.”

In Glasgow, a LEZ is already in place for buses but will apply to other vehicles from June 1, 2023 with the grace period extended to residents from June 1, 2024.

Enforcement will also begin in Edinburgh and Aberdeen on June 1, 2024 and on May 30, 2024 in Dundee.

The National: National Extra Scottish politics newsletter banner

Penalties for bringing non-compliant vehicles into the LEZ will typically be set at £60 although this will be halved to £30 if paid early.

Gilruth added: “LEZs are the biggest change we’ve ever seen in how vehicles will access our cities – and they need to be, in order to best protect public health and improve air quality.”

More information about the LEZ scheme as well as some of the Scottish Government funding on offer can be found here.