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Transport Secretary visits Glasgow for the Launch of Scotland’s First Low Emission Zone

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Representatives of major bus operators were joined today (20 December 2018) by Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson and Councillor Anna Richardson (City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction) at Buchanan Bus Station, to mark the first phase of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone, which comes into effect at 23:59 on 31 December 2018.

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Buses operated by Stagecoach, First Glasgow and McGill’s which already meet the cleaner, Euro VI emission standard required of Glasgow’s LEZ, were also on display at the bus station.

 

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: “I’m delighted that Glasgow City Council has delivered this milestone moment as part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to improving air quality.

 

“We committed to introducing Low Emission Zones into Scotland’s four biggest cities between 2018 and 2020. Glasgow City Council and Transport Scotland have been working tirelessly, in partnership with the bus industry to deliver Scotland’s first zone which responds to the particular air quality challenges faced in Glasgow city centre.

 

“This is incredibly important for the oldest and youngest in our society and those with existing cardiovascular or respiratory conditions – but is also relevant to all of us who wish to enjoy cleaner air and less polluting emissions.

 

“We have provided over £10m pounds in 2018 to assist with local authority delivery and the costs associated with bus retrofit technology. We will continue to support local authorities and the bus industry in delivering transformative steps to improve the quality of our air in places that we live, work and visit.”

 

Cllr Anna Richardson said; “Delivering cleaner air is a priority for our city and I’m delighted that Glasgow is leading the way by introducing the first Low Emission Zone in Scotland.

 

“It’s heartening to know of the clear commitment of bus operators towards improving air quality and today has been a wonderful opportunity to see their investment in cleaner vehicles that meet the strict emission standards required by Glasgow’s LEZ.

 

“The council has worked closely with bus operators to get to where we are today and we’ll continue to work in partnership to improve services that are vital to the lives of Glaswegians.”

 

“Glasgow’s LEZ will initially only affect local service buses but by the end of 2022, its emission standards will apply to all vehicles entering the zone. This pragmatic and phased approach looks at the city’s overall needs and will ensure there’s no detriment to peoples’ lives, businesses and the vitality of our city centre.”

 

Paul White, Deputy Director of CPT Scotland said; “Buses are very much part of the sustainable and active transport solution to Glasgow’s LEZ and can help achieve the Government’s climate change targets. One bus can replace up to 75 car journeys, reducing congestion and improving air quality.

 

“We welcome Glasgow’s commitment to working in partnership with bus operators. The bus industry will continue to invest in modern, greener vehicles.  If the Council is able to provide an operating environment that prioritises public transport then we can maximise the benefits of this investment for the people of Glasgow.”

 

The Scottish Government has pledged to introduce Low Emission Zones into Scotland’s four biggest cities; Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee between 2018 and 2020. These actions are based on the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2017/18 commitments.

 

Glasgow’s LEZ will initially apply to local service buses before being extended to all vehicle types by the end of 2022. The emission standards will be Euro 6/VI for diesel vehicles and Euro 4 for petrol vehicles. When the LEZ comes into effect at the end of this year, 20% of bus journeys (per operator) must comply with the strict emission standards, rising incrementally to 100% of journeys by the end of 2022.