Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Why won’t LEZ warn drivers of fine? Clarity of signs questioned amid fears council could face costly court battles over penalties

Local authority responds to suggestion signage should tell drivers they face financial punishment for entering low emissions zone.

Artist's impression of LEZ sign on Bridge Street, Aberdeen.
An artist's impression of how an LEZ sign could look on Bridge Street. Image: DC Thomson.

Aberdeen City Council has reassured motorists that signs for the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) ‘will be clear’.

The LEZ, which will launch on June 1, will be the joint-third implemented across Scotland, with Glasgow’s the only one currently in force after launching in June 2023.

Edinburgh will launch their one on the same day as the Granite City, with Dundee’s coming into place a day earlier on May 31.

Aberdeen LEZ map.
The area covered in blue is where Aberdeen’s LEZ will be. Image: Aberdeen City Council.

Scotland’s four LEZ’s are the toughest and most penalising in the UK, and unlike the controversial Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) in London, will have an outright ban on vehicles that do not comply.

Fines of £60 (reduced to £30 if paid with 14 days) will be in place for motorists who drive in Aberdeen’s LEZ in a non-compliant vehicle and the council is paying £600,000 to prepare for it, including on cameras and signs to cover its 36 entry points.

In London, where drivers have to pay £12.50 for driving in Ulez in a non-compliant vehicle, there have been warnings that the signs do not meet road regulations due to not explicitly warning drivers of the charges.

Artist's impression of LEZ sign on Union Street, Aberdeen.
Artist’s impression of what an LEZ sign could look like on the city’s Union Street. Image: DC Thomson.

A previous case saw scaffolder Noel Wilcox take Transport for London (TfL) to court after he was fined £11,500 for not paying seven LEZ tickets in the capital.

However, Mr Wilcox got his fines cancelled, after he successfully argued that TfL’s LEZ signs failed to warn motorists that they were entering a charging zone and that it is applicable 24 hours a day.

Glasgow’s LEZ signs, which the Aberdeen ones will be modelled on, have no mentions of fines on them.

LEZ signs: ‘Expose the council to further court action and costs’

Conservative councillor Duncan Massey, who sits on Aberdeen City Council’s net zero, environment and transport committee, told The P&J he is “concerned” that the signage will be “very confusing” for drivers.

He said: “Signage is also not clear regarding the potential fines and I believe the potential legal challenges against the London LEZ just adds further confusion.

“I would be very concerned that this could expose the council to further court action and costs.”

The councillor, who has been a vocal critic of bus gates in the city, is not a supporter of the LEZ and worries that it will take people away from the centre of Aberdeen.

Councillor Duncan Massey.
Conservative councillor Duncan Massey is a vocal opponent against the LEZ. Image: Scott Baxter/DC Thomson.

“I think it is a poor policy that is not wanted or needed and is very damaging to the vitality of our city centre,” the Lower Deeside councillor said.

Councillor Massey, who doubts that the LEZ will improve air quality in Aberdeen, is also concerned about the amount of taxpayer money being spent to implement the scheme.

“At a time when Aberdeen City Council has a very challenging budget due to underfunding from the SNP (Scottish) Government, I believe that these funds could be better used in services that people want, such as road repair, libraries and sports facilities,” he added.

Councillor Ian Yuill standing in front of Town House.
Councillor Ian Yuill said the signs will be in line with legislation. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson.

However, the council said that the signs will be legally compliant with The Traffic Signs Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2022, which takes into account signage for LEZ schemes.

Aberdeen City Council co-leader, Liberal Democrat Ian Yuill said: “Road traffic signs put up by the city council have to comply with the law – and the same is true for LEZ signs.”

Inclusion of penalty details ‘could detract from the primary message’

A council spokesman added: “There is different legislation underpinning London’s Ulez and Scottish LEZs in that, in the case of the former, a motorist is agreeing to pay a fee to enter the zone, whereas in Scotland, a driver would be infringing a regulatory sign if entering a LEZ in a non-compliant vehicle.”

When asked why there would be no warning on the signs to inform motorists of fines, a council spokeswoman said: “The inclusion of penalty details on signs would add further information which could detract from the primary message and implications of the sign.”

LEZ sign in Glasgow.
An LEZ sign in Glasgow.

Regarding LEZ signs in Glasgow, a Glasgow City Council spokeswoman added: “Glasgow’s signage is entirely in keeping with the signage shown in “Know your traffic signs”.

“In particular, the sign includes a picture of a camera, which indicates it is used to enforce traffic regulations.”

Poll results revealed: Hundreds say ‘anti-car’ Aberdeen is driving shoppers away from struggling city centre