SUVs could be banned from Scotland’s capital under new plans — should the same thing be considered for Aberdeen?
Edinburgh Council has backed a call to explore banning the 4x4s from parts of the city due to their environmental impact.
The big cars, which have grown in popularity over the years, are also feared to endanger pedestrians and create potholes.
These restrictions in the Capital could be enforced through parking permits and environmental orders — and will be explored in a road safety report in March.
With the Granite City’s LEZ due to come into force next summer, we asked Aberdeen City Council if there were any plans to follow Edinburgh’s lead and look into banning the large cars.
The council said there are “no proposals at present to ban certain vehicles (beyond the LEZ)”, but we want to know what our readers think.
Take part in our poll here and let us know your thoughts:
Don’t ban SUVs, improve cycling and bus travel instead, says Aberdeen climate activist
Alison Stuart, director of Aberdeen Climate Action, believes instead of banning specific vehicles, more should be done to make travelling more accessible, easier, and safer, without needing a car.
She said: “From our perspective, it would be beneficial for people not to be using SUVs for pedestrian safety, and road surface quality, and the emissions that come from the wearing and tearing of roads.
“I think what would be more beneficial, is if you start making it easier for people to use active travel and public transport, to encourage them in a way.
“Have a segregated bike path, and green byways for walking, scooting and biking to show people how they can get into the city centre, without using cars, and making it more attractive for them to do so.”
According to Alison, public transport could be more accessible for all in Aberdeen, with more buses that have space for wheelchairs and buggies.
Alison also argued if more buses allowed bikes and scooters onboard, people would use the services more, reducing the need for big cars to cart them around.
She explained: “I think if you take away the need for SUVs that’s better than actually banning them outright, which could cause a real backlash against the low emission zone and what they’re trying to do.”
‘Call to ban gas-guzzling SUVs a great idea’
Leo Murray, co-director of the UK climate charity Possible, says he’d support a ban on SUVs in parts of Aberdeen City Centre.
He also said he would back the proposals in Edinburgh to “ban these gas-guzzling SUVs from parts of the city”.
Leo added: “In Aberdeen, which is also a congested city filled with large, powerful cars, banning SUVs may also prove to be the best idea to cut emissions and to make the city safer for other road users.”
However, he also suggested the councils look into policies that would charge 4×4 drivers more for their emissions and parking as a way to cover the costs of fixing potholes caused by them.