Scottish Low Emission Zones: Consultation on Regulations and Guidance

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Closes 24 Feb 2020

Questions

Question 1a. Do you agree with the proposed present-day emission standards for Scottish LEZs?

Present day LEZ emission standards

The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 section 6(4)(a) provides the powers for the Scottish Ministers to specify LEZ emission standards for vehicles in regulations. 

A person may not drive a vehicle on a road within a LEZ unless the vehicle meets the specified emission standard. Vehicles within the scope of an LEZ which fail to comply with the LEZ emission standard will be subject to LEZ enforcement measures once the LEZ grace period has ended.

The Scottish Government proposals for LEZ emission standards to be adopted in the present day – for LEZs that will be introduced by the end of 2020 are outlined in Table 1. In summary, the Scottish Government proposal is that Scottish LEZ emission standards will be Euro VI/6 for diesel vehicles and Euro 4 for petrol vehicles, with a caveated allocation of a Euro 3 status for motorcycles. These emission standards were initially proposed in the Building Scotland’s LEZ consultation in 2017, with the feedback being as follows: The majority of respondents, 62.3% (114), agreed with the proposed minimum mandatory Euro emission criteria for Scottish LEZs …with 36.7% not agreeing

Whilst an emission standard is set for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles in Table 1, the LEZ Guidance (in preparation) is likely to recommend that these vehicles are scoped out of LEZ schemes unless the National Modelling Framework can provide a robust justification for including them in a LEZ scheme. 

Question 1b. What are your views on Scotland making a transformative shift to zero or ultra-low emission city centres by 2030?

Future LEZ emission standards

In April 2019, the First Minister declared a climate emergency, which reinforces the Scottish Governments Climate Change Plan 2018-2032 commitment to: “...phasing out the need to buy petrol and diesel engine cars and vans by 2032, a full eight years ahead of the UK Government. This will be driven by a significant increase in the uptake of ultra-low emission electric and hydrogen vehicles.” The new LEZ legislation in the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 also incorporated the emerging climate agenda by setting two mandatory objectives; the Act states that ‘The objectives specified under section 14(4) must include:

  • an objective of contributing towards meeting the air quality objectives prescribed under section 87(1) of the Environment Act 1995 (regulations about air quality), and
  • an objective of contributing towards meeting the emission reduction targets set out in Part 1 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009

The Programme for Government 2019 confirmed that the Scottish Government would consult on ‘Scotland’s ambition to make the transformative shift to zero or ultra-low emission city centres by 2030’, noting the Climate Emergency Response Group (CERG) Scotland Report 2019 recommendation .

LEZs could be a component of this ambition alongside other measures through the application of future, stricter LEZ emissions standards to contribute towards encouraging the transition towards lower and zero-carbon forms of transport.

The Scottish Government is aware that any move towards stricter emission standards in the future may have an impact on bus operators and other organisations that need to invest in new vehicles in the short term in order to meet the proposed present-day emission standards. The process to consult on the ambition to move towards zero or ultra-low emission city centres by 2030 will consider ways in which the legacy of such investment could be accommodated in any future emissions framework.

Question 2a. Which of the proposed national LEZ exemptions do you agree with? Select all that apply.

National exemptions

Vehicle type or classification

Workshop %

Description

Emergency Vehicles

80%

  • For police purposes, including for the purposes of the National Crime Agency.

 

  • For ambulance purposes or for the purpose of providing a response to an emergency at the request of the Scottish Ambulance Service Board.

 

  • For or in connection with the exercise of any function of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service or Her Majesty’s Coastguard.

Military Vehicles

65%

  • Vehicles belonging to any of Her Majesty's forces; or used for the purposes of any of those forces (by virtue of Section 349 of Armed Forces Act 2006).

Historic Vehicles

50%

  • Vehicles which are 30 years old or more from the start of the calendar year in which enforcement is taking place.

Vehicles for Disabled Persons

 

45%

  • Vehicles registered with a 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicles' tax class
  • Vehicles being used for the purposes of the "blue badge scheme”*

Showman Vehicles**

 

25%

  • Highly specialised vehicles used for the purposes of travelling showmen, where the vehicle is used during the performance, used for the purpose of providing the performance or used for carrying performance equipment, or used for carrying domestic animals.

 

Question 2b. Are there any other LEZ exemptions you would propose?
Question 3a. Do you agree with the proposed base level and subsequent tiers of penalty charges for each vehicle type as outlined in Table 5?

Table 5

Surcharge tier

Car or taxi

Minibus

Light Commercial Vehicle

Bus/Coach

Heavy Goods Vehicle

Motorbikes/ mopeds

Specialist vehicles

Base level

£60

£60

£60

£500

£500

£60

£60

Tier 1

£120

£120

£120

£1000

£1000

£120

£120

Tier 2

£240

£240

£240

£2000

£2000

£240

£240

Tier 3

£480

£480

£480

£4000

£4000

£480

£480

Tier 4

£960

£960

£960

£5000

£5000

£960

£960

Tier 5

£1920

£1920

£1920

£5000

£5000

£1920

£1920

Tier 6

£3840

£3840

£3840

£5000

£5000

£3840

£3840

Tier 7

£5000

£5000

£5000

£5000

£5000

£5000

£5000

Table 5 – Examples of tiered penalty rates (using a surcharge) for various vehicle types. The figures show the value of each penalty charge notice within each ‘tier’. The number of contraventions in a pre-set timeframe that would determine movement to the next tier is not shown in this table. 

 

Question 3b. Which surcharge 'curve' in Figure 1 represents the best approach to designing a surcharge?

More Information

figure 1

Figure 1  -  Various surcharge options.  Graph 1 indicates a gradual increase in  penalty tiers. Graph 2 indicates a stepped incremental increase in penalty tiers over a uniform number of offenses. Graph 3 indicates a gradual increase in penalty tiers over a smaller number of penalty offenses compared to graph 3, with an acceleration through the tiers thereafter. Graph 4 indicates a rapid acceleration through the tiers from the outset.  Graph 1 is the least aggressive surcharge methodology whilst Graph 4 is the most aggressive surcharge methodology.

Question 3c. How should the surcharge approach be applied in order to discourage non-compliant vehicles from driving within a LEZ?
Question 3d. How many days should lapse before a registered keeper of a vehicle returns to the base tier of the penalty charge?
Question 4. Do you agree with the general principles of the LEZ enforcement regime?

General principles

Details of the LEZ enforcement regime will be outlined within regulation, with the general principles of the LEZ enforcement regime covering:

  1. the manner in which a penalty charge notice may be enforced
  2. the issuing of penalty charge notices (PCNs) or the issuing of a further PCN following cancellation of the original PCN + the records that must be produced by or in connection with approved devices
  3. the timing and manner of payment of a penalty charge
  4. reviews and appeals process
  5. the enabling of local authorities to enter into arrangements with any person in connection with the exercising of the LEZ enforcement regime
Question 5. What are your views on the proposed list of 'other persons' that local authorities must consult with on their LEZ plans?

'Other persons'

The Scottish Government proposal for additional ‘other persons’ whom local authorities must consult is outlined below:

  • Emergency services
  • Residents within a zone
  • Local authorities (neighbours to the local authority delivering the scheme)
  • Regional Transport Partnerships
  • NHS (including Health Boards)
  • Residents living within a LEZ
  • Community council’s where all or part of whose area is within the LEZ scheme area
  • Active travel groups (covering cyclist and pedestrians, such as Sustrans)
  • Commissioner for Children and Young People in Scotland
  • Active Nation Commissioner for Scotland
  • Disabled groups (such as Mobility and Access Commission for Scotland)
  • Motorcycle groups

The Scottish Government does NOT intend to include the ‘other persons’ listed below as those whom a local authority must consult. However, the Scottish Government is keen to seek views through this consultation exercise on the merits for including some of those listed below in Regulations:

  • Scottish Government
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • Community Transport operators
  • Community Planning Partnerships
  • Housing developers     
  • Car rental companies
  • Car park companies
  • Trade Bodies representing the transport sector
  • Trade Unions
  • Rail industry
  • Educational institutions (Universities, Colleges etc)
  • Construction industry
  • Rail industry
  • Tourism organisations
  • Delivery companies (including the Royal Mail)
  • Coach companies
  • Waste management companies
  • Care Home providers   
  • Housing Associations
  • Young Persons representatives                     
  • Elderly Persons representatives
  • Historic vehicle organisations
  • Users of public transport
  • Individuals with health conditions which may be affected by air quality
  • Bus users

It is worth noting that those ‘other persons’ not stated in Regulations could be included in the LEZ Guidance as ‘advisable other persons’ for local authorities to engage with during the preparation of their LEZ scheme(s).

Question 6. If a LEZ scheme review was undertaken, what elements would you expect the review to investigate and how would the review ensure transparency and accountability?

Performance of a scheme: Direction to carry out a review and actions following a review

Section 30 of the Act states that a local authority can carry out a review of the operation and effectiveness of their low emission zone scheme, following an instruction from either Scottish Ministers or elected members of the local authority.

A “review” is different to the publication of an “annual report”, where an annual report would cover as a minimum: (1) the costs of proposing, making and operating the scheme; (2) the gross and net revenue gathered by the authority from the operation of the and (3) details of how the revenue has been used to facilitate the achievement of the scheme’s objectives.

The review should make an assessment of whether the objectives of the scheme are being achieved. On completion, the local authority must prepare and publish a report with a copy provided to Scottish Ministers.

If a review is undertaken, it could help to inform decision making around the need for a possible amendment to, or revocation of, a low emission zone scheme.

If a review concludes that a LEZ is not performing as expected in relation to the scheme objectives, Scottish Ministers may give direction to a local authority to undertake steps to address the LEZ under-performance.

Performance of a scheme: Direction to carry out a review and actions following a review

Section 30 of the Act states that a local authority can carry out a review of the operation and effectiveness of their low emission zone scheme, following an instruction from either Scottish Ministers or elected members of the local authority.

A “review” is different to the publication of an “annual report”, where an annual report would cover as a minimum: (1) the costs of proposing, making and operating the scheme; (2) the gross and net revenue gathered by the authority from the operation of the and (3) details of how the revenue has been used to facilitate the achievement of the scheme’s objectives.

The review should make an assessment of whether the objectives of the scheme are being achieved. On completion, the local authority must prepare and publish a report with a copy provided to Scottish Ministers.

If a review is undertaken, it could help to inform decision making around the need for a possible amendment to, or revocation of, a low emission zone scheme.

If a review concludes that a LEZ is not performing as expected in relation to the scheme objectives, Scottish Ministers may give direction to a local authority to undertake steps to address the LEZ under-performance.

Question 7. What secondary objectives should be created for LEZ schemes?

Purpose and objectives of an LEZ

The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 requires two mandatory objectives for LEZ Schemes, namely (1) contributing towards meeting the air quality objectives prescribed under section 87(1) of the Environment Act 1995 and (2) contributing towards meeting the emission reduction targets set out in Part 1 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

Local authorities can set other secondary objectives for their schemes as they see fit under the auspice of Section 14(1)(d) of the Act, with the objectives being Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-related.

The importance of secondary objectives centres around three key aspects:

Objectives should enable the local authority to tangibly demonstrate the range of co-benefits that LEZs may help to deliver or support. A number of ‘topical area’ co-benefits were identified during the Building Scotland’s Low Emission consultation in late 2017 and the LEZ Regulations stakeholder workshops  in May. During the Stage 3 debate of the Bill, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity highlighted that ‘LEZs have the potential to interact with a host of other transport issues, such as congestion, active travel and encouraging the uptake of ultra-low emission vehicles’  

Use of penalty charge monies by a local authority will be tied to the delivery of a scheme’s objectives, and only once the scheme objectives have been met can Scottish Ministers seek a repayment of any grants received, should they so wish. Whilst the most successful LEZ scheme will not raise any revenue (as all vehicles will comply with the LEZ emission standard), local authorities may wish to set voluntary objectives in a way that they feel would make best use of any penalty monies received

Objectives will frame the content of both annual reports and possible scheme reviews (both aspects of the Act)

The forthcoming LEZ Guidance will outline a range of exemplar voluntary objectives for local authorities to consider across a suite of topical areas, so the goal of this consultation question is to seek views on the type and form of voluntary objectives.

Examples of topical areas that could help frame potential secondary objectives are outlined in Table 6:

Topical area

Guide to help develop secondary objectives

Modal shift

Encouraging and promoting a permanent preference for more sustainable transport modes and infrastructure investments.

Modal shift from individual car journeys, to public transport, zero emission vehicles and active travel.

Increase park and ride provisions within the vicinity of a LEZ, discouraging private cars from entering city centres.

Public transport provision

Support the introduction of bus prioritisation measures to enable buses to operate as efficiently and reliably as possible whilst minimising their environmental impact.

Encourage the uptake of low or zero emission public transport fleets.

Planning / Place making

Contribute to ongoing transformational change and development, helping to promote urban spaces as  desirable places to live, visit and invest in.

Public health and wellbeing

Protect public health and wellbeing

Congestion

Support the reduction in the annual average daily traffic (AADT) on strategic and local roads.

Table 6 – Topical areas to help inform development of secondary objectives

Question 8. Do you agree with the steps outlined in Figure 2 for enabling a LEZ scheme to come into effect?

More Information

Figure 2

Figure 2 – Steps for an LEZ to come into effect

Question 9. How can local authorities maximise the technological opportunities available from the deployment of approved devices?

Approved devices and technological opportunities

Sections 7(1), 7(2) and 21 of the Act state that type ‘approved devices’ will be used in connection with the operation of LEZ schemes to produce a record to establish whether a person was driving a vehicle within a LEZ and to determine whether a vehicle meets the specified emissions standard. This is the minimum requirement in the use of approved devices.

The deployment of approved devices in LEZs will create a wealth of technological opportunities but any aspirations must accommodate privacy concerns. The LEZ Guidance will address both of these aspects. Two separate document will be published by the Scottish Government to offer guidance on what constitutes an approved device (e.g. Automatic Number Plate Recognition Cameras) in tandem with a Certification of Approved Devices (CoAD) document, following similar advice published by the UK Government for Clean Air Zone approved devices.

Deployment and use of approved devices within LEZs offers an opportunity to achieve ‘added value’. Just delivering the minimum, to enforce LEZs by detecting non-compliant vehicles, would arguably be a missed opportunity. 

The government proposal is that local authorities should seek to engage, collaborate and partner with the Intelligent Transport Systems community in a way that maximises the technological potential of approved devices and their associated back-office system, to both support deliver of the mandatory and secondary objectives of LEZs (particularly associated with air quality and climate change) AND offer a tangible contribution into the local authority placemaking aspirations/ agenda.

Question 10. What positive or negative impacts do you think LEZ proposals outlined within this consultation may have on: (a) particular groups of people, with particular reference to 'protected characteristics' listed above (b) the very young and old (c) people facing socioeconomic disadvantages?

Assessing impact

We are committed to assessing the impact of our new LEZ regulations proposals on a wide range of stakeholder groups across Scotland and local communities. This consultation will contribute into the process of assessing the equalities, business and regulatory, and environmental impact of our LEZ Regulations and Guidance proposals.

The impact assessments cover the following:

  • Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) including the Fairer Scotland Duty
  • Child Rights and Well Being
  • Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA)
  • Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA)
  • Environmental impact

We will take a robust evidence based approach to the development of our impact assessments and will work in close consultation with key stakeholders and representatives of particular groups that are likely to be impacted.  

Equality impact assessment and Fairer Scotland duty

In creating a consistent approach to LEZs in Scotland, the public sector equality duty requires the Scottish Government to pay due regard to the need to the following:

  • Eliminate discrimination, victimisation, harassment or other unlawful conduct that is prohibited under the Equality Act 2010
  • Advance equality opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not and
  • Foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic

These three requirements apply across the ‘protected characteristics’ of:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion and belief
  • sex and sexual orientation

The Scottish Government must also include consideration of the:

  • very young and old too (Child Rights and Well Being), given the impacts of air pollution to exacerbate existing health conditions in the very young and old.
  • socioeconomic disadvantage (Fairer Scotland Duty), given that some of the LEZ Regulations - such as penalty rates and exemptions - may have direct linkages with socio-economic inequality issues such as low income, low wealth, and area deprivation.

The Scottish Government will consider the responses from the consultation process in determining any actions needed to meet its statutory obligations. Your comments will be considered in a full Equality Impact Assessment to determine if any further work in this area is needed.

Question 11. Do you think the LEZ proposals outlined in this consultation are likely to increase, reduce or maintain the costs and burdens placed on business sectors?

Business and Regulation

A Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment should analyse whether a policy (or in this case Regulations) is likely to increase or reduce the costs and burdens placed on businesses, the public sector and voluntary and community organisations.

Your comments to this consultation will help inform a full BRIA of our LEZ Regulations and Guidance proposals.

Question 12. What impacts do you think the LEZ proposals outlined within this consultation may have on the personal data and privacy of individuals?

Data Protection Impact Assessment

Under the General Data Protection Regulation, the Scottish Government must complete a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) for all projects involving personal data and privacy. With the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 requiring the use of approved devices to enforce LEZs, the management of personal data and privacy must be at the heart of LEZ delivery. 

A full Privacy Impact Assessment will be conducted to ascertain whether our proposals may have an impact on the privacy of individuals.

Question 13. Do you think the proposals outlined within this consultation are likely to have an impact on the environment? If so, which ones and how?

Environment

The Environmental Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005 ensures those public proposals that are likely to have a significant impact on the environment are assessed and measures to prevent or reduce adverse effects are sought, where possible, prior to implementation. The introduction of LEZs is likely to have significant environmental effects, so this consultation will help to explore the potential environmental effects that might arise from our LEZ Regulations and Guidance proposal. 

Question 14. Do you have any other comments that you would like to add on the Scottish Government's proposals outlined within this consultation?