With enforcement of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) imminent, people are being urged to know its requirements and to plan ahead.
Glasgow’s LEZ, which effectively excludes the most polluting vehicles from our city centre, protects public health by tackling unacceptably high levels of harmful air pollution that have long persisted in the zone area.
From 1 June, all vehicles driving into the LEZ must meet the less-polluting emission standards or face a penalty charge.
There are some exemptions, such as for blue badge holders and emergency vehicles – and zone residents have an extra year to comply.
Cllr Angus Millar, City Convener for Climate and Transport said: “With just one month to go before the full roll-out of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone, we are urging people to plan ahead and make sure they know its requirements.
“Expanding the reach of the LEZ to include all vehicles is an important milestone in ensuring cleaner air for Glasgow – addressing levels and concentrations of air pollution which have remained stubbornly high in the city centre, in breach of the legal limits.
“Poor air quality is harming Glaswegians’ health and contributing to the city’s health inequalities, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable. While the vast majority – up to 90% – of vehicles currently entering the city centre will be unaffected, the LEZ standards will address the most polluting vehicles which are disproportionately creating the harmful concentrations of air pollution.
“We know that this will work – the first phase of implementation which focused on cleaning up the city’s bus fleet, has already seen improvements in air quality, but only with a full roll-out will we realise the full benefits.
“Alongside our wider work as a city to promote and secure improvements to public transport and active travel options, Glasgow’s LEZ will help create a shift towards sustainable transport and the uptake of less polluting vehicles. And by ensuring cleaner air, we can create a more pleasant experience for everyone who visits, works and lives in the city centre, while improving public health.
“I would urge everyone, particularly those who drive into the city centre, to visit our LEZ webpages for more information and to see if their vehicle will comply with the less-polluting emissions standards.”
How the LEZ will Operate
Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone will operate continuously, all year round.
It covers an area of the city centre bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, the River Clyde to the south and Saltmarket/High Street to the east.
It is generally the case that diesel engine vehicles registered after September 2015, and petrol vehicles registered from 2006 onwards will meet the required LEZ standards.
Motorcycles and mopeds are unaffected by LEZ schemes in Scotland.
ANPR cameras linked to a national vehicle licencing database will be used to enforce Glasgow’s LEZ. When a non-compliant vehicle is detected in the zone, a Penalty Charge Notice will be issued to the registered keeper.
A scheme surcharge will see the initial penalty charge of £60, double for each subsequent breach detected – subject to a cap of £480 for cars and LGVs, and £960 for buses and HGVs. Where there are no further breaches of the rules detected within the 90 days following a previous breach, the penalty rate will be reset to the base tier charge of £60.
A national online vehicle checker hosted by the Scottish Government and linked to a DVLA database is available to check for accordance with LEZ emission standards.
Transport Scotland has also developed an online portal where blue badge holders can register vehicles they are travelling in to obtain the required exemptions.
In addition to reducing levels of harmful vehicle emissions, Glasgow’s LEZ is also expected to accelerate the uptake of more sustainable forms of transport and increase the safety, attractiveness, and amenity of our city centre.
You can read more about Glasgow’s LEZ by clicking on this link.