Dundee drivers will start paying fines when Low Emission Zone enforcement starts in May 2024.
Glasgow drivers are already dealing with a fully operational zone, with enforcement having begun earlier this summer.
The Glasgow scheme has faced heavy criticism. But is there anything Dundee drivers – and the scheme’s administrators in the city council – can learn from what has happened in Glasgow?
1. Put off LEZ repeat offenders
In Glasgow, 777 of the 5,933 drivers fined in July were for repeated breaches of the Low Emission Zone.
Dundee needs to come up with some way of putting off drivers from repeatedly flouting the LEZ rules, whether that be better signage or something else entirely.
Otherwise, what is the point of Low Emission Zone in Dundee if people flout the rules?
Although with one driver breaking the Glasgow LEZ rules four times at £480, surely that cost is enough to put any driver off!
2. Improve messaging around Dundee Low Emission Zone
A common theme for Low Emission Zones across the country is driver dissatisfaction.
Schemes aimed at improving air quality (by reducing car numbers in certain areas) were never likely to be popular with everyone, but there has been a great deal of criticism for both Dundee’s Low Emission Zone and Glasgow’s.
In Glasgow, there are reportedly mixed feelings, as polling suggested fewer than one in four Glaswegians support the clean air zone.
However, there are also those who see the zone as a positive for the city.
Kyle Christie, manager at Paesano Pizza, says it’s making the streets more pleasant. Especially for folk heading around the town at night.
“There is negativity here about it here,” he said, “but it’s just a whole load of fuss in my eyes.
“It has definitely not affected business for us.
“Town is absolutely jumping and anybody that tells you otherwise is talking out their bum.”
Kyle added: “The city feels cleaner and there are more people walking around.
“There are not as many cars in town and [the LEZ] proves there’s no need for them.”
3. Dundee council must ditch own polluting vehicles
In June, The Courier revealed that a shocking one in five council vehicles at the time would not comply with the Dundee Low Emission Zone.
Official records obtained by Freedom of Information legislation showed that out of Dundee’s fleet of 836 vehicles, at the time 173 would have been considered non-compliant.
Glasgow Council reportedly spent £100,000 to hire LEZ-compliant vehicles with some of its staff even receiving fines.
To avoid that – and set a better example for the rest of the city – Dundee City Council should replace the non-compliant parts of their fleet – if they haven’t already.
4. Get city night transport sorted
In Glasgow, there have been pleas to improve public transport, as people from lower income backgrounds are less likely to afford new personal cars which can enter the zone.
Another teething issue in the west came about when, First bus scrapped all of their night services in the city, leaving those reliant on public transport stranded in some areas.
In Dundee, bus company bosses have already been steadily getting their fleet ready for the LEZ introduction.
But in order to avoid making the same mistakes as Glasgow, Dundee needs to talk to bus companies – and taxi drivers – to ensure night transport is sorted and there are no nasty surprises lurking.
5. Remind Dundonians – and visitors – why you’re bringing in a Low Emission Zone
While the city’s Low Emission Zone remains controversial, the council could remind people why they wanted to introduce one in the first place.
Polluted air kills the equivalent of 70 people in Dundee every year, it is claimed.
Dirty air has an impact on people’s health, and can increase the risks of ailments like respiratory and heart disease and asthma.
Those are sobering arguments worth remembering.