Majority of Aberdeen residents 'oppose controversial LEZ plans'

The LEZ has already been rolled out in Glasgow and is set to be introduced in Edinburgh and Dundee.

The majority of Aberdonians are opposed to the new low emission zone (LEZ) that is set to be introduced in June, a new survey has revealed.

The LEZ, which has already been rolled out in Glasgow and will be introduced in Edinburgh and Dundee, is said to help the environment by reducing harmful carbon emissions by banning high-polluting vehicles from coming into certain areas of the city.

The controversial scheme will see vehicles that do not meet the standards banned from entering certain streets in the city, including Union Street, with fines handed to those who breach the rules.

A survey, created by local campaigner David Laing, saw more than 2,700 people respond, with 90.1% of respondents opposing the plans.

Of the respondents, 88.9% said they would be less likely to visit the city centre due to the LEZ, while 92.7% said they believe it would have a negative impact on Aberdeen.

Only 9.5% of respondents said that there was sufficient signage or information about the new measures.

Mr Laing organised the poll to “understand levels of support/opposition for the new LEZ in the city”.

He said: “The survey shows Aberdonians’ clear objection to the new LEZ and is another blow to the out of touch council administration.

“At a time where household budgets are tight, forcing families to fork out for new vehicles is beyond ridiculous. 

“The LEZ risks hurting not helping the environment, forcing longer journeys and increasing congestion. 

“It’s time the council’s leaders listen to the overwhelming majority opposed to the LEZ and take action to stop the scheme before it comes into force next month.

“The LEZ is proving to be another recipe for disaster for the council administration. After almost two chaotic years in power, it’s about time the council leaders start to listen, as the future of our city is at stake.”

In response to the survey results, local Conservative councillor Duncan Massey said: “This is another important survey, highlighting that the Aberdeen public do not support the numerous damaging anti-motorist policies coming from the council.

“Unfortunately, the council continues to ignore public opinion, even from their own consultations. They continue to push disproportionate policies that make life difficult for motorists, cost a lot of money whilst having a very minor impact on the stated aim of increasing cycling.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokesman said: “The LEZ has been deliberately designed to achieve the air quality improvements while minimising negative impacts on accessibility for businesses and residents. For that reason the majority of key destinations, such as public car parks, can be accessed without having to pass through the LEZ, albeit some people’s usual routes to access these may have to change.

“The LEZ has been subject to two rounds of public and stakeholder consultation and a formal objection period where members of the public and businesses have been invited to have their say, and the proposed boundary has been amended on a number of occasions in response to the feedback received, again to minimise any potential negative impacts, where these changes do not compromise the air quality objectives.

“Following the June 2021 report, the boundary was tweaked slightly following the second consultation and the objection period. Thereafter the then Council leader and City Growth Convenor agreed the final boundary for submission to Scottish Ministers.”

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