Understanding Edinburgh’s low emission zone (LEZ)

As of June 1st 2024, vehicles not meeting required emission standards may be fined if they are driven through the Edinburgh low emission zone (LEZ). This area has been set up way of reducing harmful emissions from road transport. It is one way the City of Edinburgh Council are hoping to achieve their net zero emissions target by 2030. 

Parliament House Hotel sits within the LEZ zone, meaning if you are planning on bringing your vehicle, then you must make sure it meets the emissions standards. To check to see if your vehicle does so, please visit the Edinburgh Council LEZ website.

What is a Low Emission Zone (LEZ)?

A Low Emission Zone is a designated area where only vehicles that meet specific emission standards are allowed to enter. The primary goal of an LEZ is to reduce air pollution. This is often caused by older, more polluting vehicles. By restricting access to these vehicles, cities can improve air quality, protect public health, and contribute to broader environmental goals.

Some exemptions do apply, including vehicles for disabled people and historic vehicles. Please do check if you think your vehicle should be exempt by visiting the exemption pages here. Apply for exemptions before you travel.

Night in Edinburgh with the streaming lights of passing cars.

Why does Edinburgh have a Low Emissions Zone?

Like many urban areas, Edinburgh has struggled with air pollution, particularly in densely populated and traffic-heavy zones. Edinburgh’s LEZ aims to address these issues by targeting high-pollution areas and reducing emissions from vehicles.

Improving air quality has direct health benefits for residents. Cleaner air can reduce the incidence of asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions, particularly among vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly. The LEZ is a proactive measure to create a healthier living environment for everyone in the city.

The introduction of the LEZ also aligns with Edinburgh’s broader environmental goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable urban living. It supports the city’s commitment to becoming carbon-neutral by 2030, enhancing the quality of life for current and future generations.

Where is Edinburgh’s LEZ?

The city’s low emissions zone forms a boundary reaching from Queen Street in the north down towards the Meadows in the south. It stretches from Edinburgh’s west end along towards Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill in the east. To see a detailed map of the areas within the LEZ – which includes Parliament House Hotel – visit the LEZ boundary map here

Plan ahead to avoid a fine

Wether you are bringing a car or hiring one, make sure it meets the emissions targets set by the Edinburgh low emission zone. The same goes for anyone visiting you during your time here. There is no grace period for cars just ‘popping in’, so you may need to walk outside the zone. If you have any questions about bringing your car to us, please either check out the low emissions zone website, or get in touch with us