Edinburgh Low Emission Zone: Road changes to help drivers whose cars are excluded

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Changes have been made to roads around the edge of Edinburgh’s new Low Emission Zone ahead of the ban on the worst polluting vehicles comes into force on June 1.

The alterations are designed to help drivers navigate the new restrictions and provide drivers whose vehicles don’t meet the zone’s emission standards with a safe alternative route while limiting congestion. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The LEZ covers a 1.2 square mile area of the city centre, stretching from Queen Street in the New Town to Melville Drive on the other side of the Meadows and from Palmerston Place at the west end to Abbeyhill in the east, but not including these streets.

The ban covers most diesel cars and vans registered before September 2015 and petrol cars and vans registered before January 2006. Petrol and diesel taxis and private hire vehicles which do not meet Euro 6 emission standards will also be banned from the LEZ.

And HGVs, buses and coaches that fail to meet the Euro 6 standards – generally vehicles registered before January 2013 – will not be allowed in either. Motorcycles and mopeds are not affected. The LEZ was officially introduced by the city council in 2022, but there has been a two-year grace period to allow motorists to prepare for it. Entry signs have now gone up on the boundary of the LEZ to inform drivers they are driving within the zone. And from June 1, fines will be handed out for infringements.

The biggest changes to the road system are at Morrison Street, which is now two-way to all traffic between the Morrison Link/Morrison Street junction and the Dewar Place/Morrison Street junction.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A right-hand turn from Morrison Link to Morrison Street eastbound has been added, and there have been improvements to the pedestrian crossing at the junction of Morrison Street, Gardner’s Cresent and Dewar Place, including wider footways, removal of guard rails and new cycle parking and planters around Gardner's Crescent. Continuous pavements have been created at St David’s Place and St David’s Terrace on Morrison Street. And traffic can no longer turn left from Morrison Street westbound onto Gardner’s Crescent in a bid to allow more time for the green man, giving pedestrians travelling east and west higher priority.

At Tollcross, a diversion route for non-compliant vehicles will allow traffic to turn right from Home Street to Brougham Street.

And in the Old Town, a new right turn filter has been added from the Pleasance to Holyrood Road. Transport convener Scott Arthur said: “By limiting the most polluting vehicles from the zone, the LEZ will play a central role in lowering harmful emissions in Edinburgh, which negatively affect our health and wellbeing.

“I’m pleased that compliance with the zone’s emissions standards has continued to rise over recent years, which will benefit all those living in and visiting the city. Our two-year grace period has helped people to prepare for and adapt to the changes coming into force on 1 June.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The measures we’ve been putting in place will allow non-compliant vehicles to find an alternative route, while limiting congestion and road safety issues. However, as we approach the start of enforcement I hope to see compliance rates climbing even further, or people opting for cleaner, more sustainable modes of transport.”

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.