UK has more low emission zones than almost any other country

According to a new league table, Britain ranks below only two other nations in the global leader board for LEZs. 

The UK is now home to more low emission zones than almost any other country in the world, with a total of 22. 

cars on road near bridge during daytime

Just Italy, with 253, and Germany, which counts 82, claim a greater number, according to research by vehicle insurer GoShortly based on the TomTom Congestion Index. The remainder of the top ten featured France (16), Netherlands (16), Spain (8), Sweden (8), Austria (7), Belgium (4), and Denmark (4).  

While it’s worth noting that there are huge differences in terms of population density and size, and therefore the number of cars on the road, rate of congestion, and air pollution, with almost twice as many people living in London – where the UK’s largest emission reduction scheme, the Ultra Low Emission Zone – as Denmark, and the British capital home to more citizens than Austria. 

Outside of Europe, the work also identified that Istanbul is officially the most congested city on the planet – with 62% of roads jammed, and residents spending an average of 142 hours, or six days, stuck in traffic each year. Colombia’s biggest city, Bogota, was second, where the average person will lose 126 hours to time spent in their vehicle, barely moving, followed by Mumbai, India.  

In July, the Clean Cities Campaign report found that 320 European cities now operate LEZs, up 40% compared with 2019, with p;ans in place to roll out almost 200 more in the next three years. Newcastle is set to be one of the latest additions to the UK’s list of low emission schemes, while in February Air Quality News investigated the political and economic furore surrounding another proposed zone, in the feature Bad Atmosphere: Inside Greater Manchester’s Chaotic Clean Air Zone

Image: Quaid Lagan




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1 year ago

Sounds like very good news but some would argue that these zones simply shift the pollution elsewhere. Is there any evidence?

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