Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has welcomed support from a broad spectrum of politicians to a proposed exemption to Low Emission Zones (LEZs) for classic cars.
The politician has tabled an amendment to the Scottish Government’s Transport (Scotland) Bill to exempt historic vehicles, which includes classic cars, military vehicles and steam engines, from LEZs, stating they all provide a major economic benefit worth £5.5 billion annually and also support employment for around 35,000 people across the UK.
Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, put his case to MSPs sitting on the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee today (Wednesday) at the Scottish Parliament.
Commenting, he said: “It was clear that I had cross-party support for my exemption and I am pleased that Michael Matheson, the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, has agreed to give my amendment further consideration prior to stage 3 of the Bill.
“I look forward to meeting Scottish Government officials in a bid to get the outcome many people want for historic vehicles.”
He continued: “I feel historic vehicles should be exempt from LEZs as they provide around £5.5 billion to the economy and support the employment of around 35,000 people across the UK.
“These are figures provided by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, who I know have been energetically lobbying MSPs at the Scottish Parliament about the Bill.
“I am a member of the Stag (Triumph) Owners’ Club and know that many historic vehicles are preserved and restored for public interest. The majority have a very low annual mileage and are used in the likes of exhibitions or classic car rallies.
“We have the likes of today with the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which includes a military parade in Portsmouth. If we don’t exempt historic vehicles from LEZs then we won’t be able to have military parades in the likes of Princes Street in Edinburgh.
“Another important point is that many people like to have older cars like Daimlers at their wedding, so I feel if these vehicles were not exempt from LEZs this would be to the detriment of society.”
Mr Fraser agreed not to press ahead with his amendment at today’s committee meeting but will now arrange to meet Scottish Government officials in a bid to agree a way forward in advance of stage 3 of the Bill being discussed at the Scottish Parliament.