New car tax changes set to launch in major UK city could be finalised this week

'Clean air zone' plans mean diesel drivers could face charges

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On Thursday, committee members may agree to the introduction of a new Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) in Edinburgh, affecting petrol and diesel cars. A finalised scheme was brought to the Committee back in October for further analysis.

Members will now consider a new report outlining analysis from SEPA via the National Modelling Framework.

The report will show that an LEZ in the city would take significant steps towards tackling emissions.

The report recommends proceeding with the scheme with no changes to the boundaries.

This would see the scheme launched in the city centre from this spring.

However, enforcement will not come into effect until 2024 under the terms of a grace period.

Councillor Lesley Macinnes, Transport and Environment Convener, said the new rule was “key to achieving cleaner air”.

“The LEZ put forward for approval in October followed several years of planning, modelling and analysis, in line with national frameworks, as well as consideration of feedback received through a major public consultation.

“Additional work carried out since then to assess the scheme’s impact on carbon emissions, as well as the proposed boundaries and grace period, demonstrates that these proposals are appropriate for the city.

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“The LEZ, alongside a range of ambitious projects to improve air quality, will encourage cleaner transport and support active travel, and is key to achieving cleaner air for everyone.”

The LEZ will apply to all motor vehicles regardless of engine size or emissions standards.

The only vehicles allowed inside the zone would be motorcycles and mopeds, although a two year grace period will apply for people to get used to the scheme.

Once the scheme has fully launched, vehicles will need to meet certain specifications to enter the zone freely.

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