Hundreds of council fleet to be replaced to comply with own LEZ

Edinburgh City Council says a strategy is in place to ensure that all its vehicles are replaced in time.

Hundreds of council fleet to be replaced to comply with own LEZ Pixabay

More than 350 vehicles currently owned or being leased by Edinburgh City Council will have to be replaced in order to comply with the local authority’s own plans for the city’s first ever low emission zone (LEZ).

The council says a strategy is in place to ensure that all its vehicles are replaced in time.

So far plans have been made to replace 83 of the non-complying vehicles with fully electric equivalents.

Further work will also be done to identify if any other vehicles can be placed with electric versions.

Currently it is unclear what the cost of replacing the more than 350 vehicles will amount to.

Transport and environment convener, councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “We are absolutely committed to delivering an ambitious LEZ to tackle poor air quality, protecting the health and wellbeing of all those who live in, work in and visit Edinburgh. 

“All categories of vehicles will be affected and of course, this also concerns our own fleet.

“We already operate many low emission and electric vehicles across the fleet and make efforts to replace vehicles with cleaner models wherever possible. 

“A replacement strategy is currently in place to ensure that all vehicles are replaced in time to comply with LEZ restrictions, once they are introduced.”

Councillor Jason Rust, Conservative group chairman, said it was “good to see” a strategy being put in place “at this early stage”.

He added: “The council needs to demonstrate that it will be bound by its own proposals.”

Moves to introduce Edinburgh’s first LEZ – which could see vehicles producing high levels of pollution banned from parts of the city – have been delayed by the Scottish Government.

In February, transport secretary Michael Matheson announced that all plans for LEZs were to be “temporarily paused” due to the impact of Covid-19 on local authorities.

He said it was “no longer practicable” to introduce the zones by the end of the year due to “necessary changes to priorities”.

By Local Democracy Reporter Noa Hoffman