Capital business owners react to Low Emission Zone plans

Traffic in Corstorphine where the air quality continues to be of poor quality. Picture; Steven Scott Taylor
Traffic in Corstorphine where the air quality continues to be of poor quality. Picture; Steven Scott Taylor
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TALK of charges for lorries, vans and buses using the most polluted streets in a bid to reduce emissions has received a mixed reaction.

The Evening News reported on Friday how Low Emission Zones (LEZs), with tolls and fines for the vehicles in certain areas, were on the political agenda.

Councillor Frank Ross.

Councillor Frank Ross.

Drivers of cars which do not meet strict emission standards may eventually also face charges.

One major route likely to be in the crosshairs is Corstorphine’s St John’s Road – named last year the second most polluted street in Scotland.

“I don’t agree with it at all. Roads should be free,” said Sole City shopkeeper Peter Gregg, 66, of Parkhead. “You pay road tax and it’s high enough. I wouldn’t agree with road tolls at all.

“Trucks are still going to go back and forwards. They’re clearing the St James Centre and they’re going by here, ten an hour.

“It’s got to go somewhere. That’d just be a tax on them I think. I’ve been in this shop 35 years and my health’s fine.”

Ewan Cunningham, 23, from Oxgangs, said: “I could see why they would maybe try and do it on this road because it’s always busy. Any part of the day it’s always busy, whether it’s morning or night.”

Lord Provost and SNP councillor for Corstorphine, Frank Ross, said he expected St John’s Road to be looked at in the council commissioned report into LEZs.

“It has been a regular topic raised by people for some years,” he said. “Lothian Buses have their most efficient buses on that road.

“There’s been significant progress in the last four or five years in reducing pollutants but we shouldn’t rest on our laurels.”