Campaigners have welcomed Dundee City Council’s plans to begin establishing a Low Emission Zone for the city which has been promised for a number of years. 

The consultation, launched yesterday by the council, plans for the zone to restrict the most polluting vehicles from the city centre, beginning in June 2024. This will reduce harmful air pollution which has been at illegal levels for over a decade.

Low Emission Zones were first announced by the Scottish Government in 2016.

The council has proposed that from June 2024, buses, coaches and HGVs registered before 2013, diesel vehicles registered before 2015, and petrol vehicles registered before 2006 will be unable to drive through the area due to the pollution they produce.

Air pollution is estimated to cause over 2,500 early deaths in Scotland each year. It has been linked to wide reaching health implications, including cancer, heart failure, asthma, cognitive impairments, and miscarriage.

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Air Pollution Campaigner Gavin Thomson commented:

“After 14 years of illegal levels of diesel pollution, with a brief respite during last year’s lockdown, Dundee residents are finally getting action to improve air quality. Air pollution damages our health, and is particularly dangerous to young children, the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions. In the years we’ve waited for a Low Emission Zone, children living in or near our most polluted streets will have developed asthma due to poor air quality.

“The zone covers a tiny area, based only around the city centre with absurd exemptions for huge car parks. If we want the zone to be effective, the Council will need to introduce a variety of other measures; more pedestrian spaces, joined-up cycle lanes, and a reliable, affordable bus network that serves passengers not profit.

“This consultation is a chance for the people of Dundee to decide how their Low Emission Zone will work, and make sure the Council knows action on air pollution can’t end here.”


Free to use, print quality photos can be downloaded from the Friends of the Earth Scotland Flickr account. They include images of spokespeople, protests and featured streets 


Dundee City Council has today launched a consultation finalising the plans for Low Emission Zone in Dundee. https://www.dundeecity.gov.uk/service-area/comments-relating-to-the-low-emission-zone-proposal 

More information on Dundee’s Low Emission Zone, and the background, is available here: 


‘Dundee’s anti-pollution zone with car parking spaces is ‘absurd’’. 18th February 2020


The city of Dundee is designated an Air Quality Management Area, “in relation to breaches and likely breaches of the Nitrogen dioxide annual mean air quality objective, the Nitrogen dioxide hourly mean air quality objective and the PM10 annual mean air quality objective”.


Low Emission Zones (LEZs) are areas in town or city centres where the most polluting vehicles are banned from entering. They are one of the most effective ways to protect vulnerable people from dirty air and exist in over 200 cities across Europe.


Friends of the Earth Scotland estimate that 2500 people die early each year from air pollution in Scotland alone: 


An estimated 69 people die prematurely in Dundee every year due to fine particle (PM2.5) air pollution. Public Health England, “Estimating local mortality burdens associated with particulate air pollution” (2014), Table 3, page 20. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/estimating-local-mortality-burdens-associated-with-particulate-air-pollution 

The study, ‘COVID-19 PM2.5 A national study on long-term exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in the United States’. concludes that “an increase of 1 μg/m3 in PM2.5 is associated with an 8% increase in the COVID-19 death rate”. https://projects.iq.harvard.edu/covid-pm 


Friends of the Earth Scotland is:

* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation

* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland

* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 73 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.