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Scotland’s first Low Emission Zone starts to take shape

Glasgow plans to have Scotland’s first Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in place as 2018 draws to a close.

The new zone, covering the city centre, is due to come into effect at 23:59 on 31 December 2018.

It will mark the start of a journey which will ultimately lead to all vehicles entering the zone being fully compliant by 31 December 2022.

Details were discussed in an update report to the Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction City Policy Committee today (Tuesday 20 March).

The report outlines the work being undertaken by the council and partners including Transport Scotland, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and SEPA to address the various technical and legal matters associated with establishing a LEZ in Glasgow.

Proposals to introduce a LEZ in Glasgow by 2018 were agreed by the council’s City Administration Committee in September last year.

Since then, the council has engaged with relevant stakeholders, major bus operators including First and SPT to outline potential scope of the LEZ and gain an insight on how Scottish Government funding for retrofitting of the bus fleet will be used by them to deliver a compliant bus service/fleet.

There is substantial funding available to support the bus industry with LEZ works.  This is money which is available to bus operators to allow them to retrofit their older buses.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said: “We are making real progress on our plans to have Scotland’s first LEZ in place by the end of the year. Glasgow’s LEZ will be the first of its kind in Scotland and has been modelled as being capable of making significant reductions in levels of air pollution in the city centre.

“It’s recognised that the introduction of a LEZ needs to be proportionate and managed in such a way that ambition and practicality can be balanced. What we’ve seen and heard today are strong views expressed on both sides of the debate – some people who think we are going too far and some who feel we should go further and faster. Our job is to ensure the low emission zone is introduced at a robust yet realistic pace that will bring about the air quality improvements we need without having a detrimental impact on transport or Glasgow’s economy and businesses.

“While we continue to work with the bus industry to improve services – services which are vital to the lives of Glaswegians – Transport Scotland has made it clear that substantial grant funding, as well as loans, will be made available to support the bus industry and to protect passengers.

“That is why the initial phase of the LEZ will address local buses through Traffic Regulation Conditions (TRC’s) set by the Traffic Commissioner.  Buses will be expected to meet Euro VI emission standard by December 2022. All other vehicles will also have to be compliant by that date, and we will be engaging widely with residents and businesses to ensure that everyone is aware of and prepared for the LEZ.

“Glasgow is forging a national path towards cleaner air – air that we will all benefit from. Poor air quality is a significant public health concern and a major social justice issue for Glasgow.

“Cleaner buses going through the city centre LEZ will also be travelling elsewhere and throughout our city’s neighbourhoods and this is a really positive step forward in how we, as a city and as a country, go about creating healthy, liveable streets.”

The timescales set out in the committee report are subject to the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland agreeing to impose a Traffic Regulation Condition following a regulatory impact assessment.

It is anticipated this process will take at least six months.

The LEZ update report is available here

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Glasgow commercial waste project soon to rollout across city

Glasgow City Council‘s successful commercial waste project in the city centre is now in its final stages, with compliance across the entire area by the end of March.

From the beginning of April, the project will be rolled-out across the whole of Glasgow by early March 2019, with the north-west of the city the next area to see these changes, with compliance by 15 September.  The south side will be compliant, with the north-east to follow by 2 March 2019.

The primary aim of the project – which was achieved in the eight pilot areas within the city centre – was to substantially reduce the adverse impact of the then current waste collection practices (especially the use of bulky, brightly-coloured commercial waste containers on streets, pavements and lanes) to enhance the city centre’s appearance making it more pleasant for to live, work, study and visit there.

An additional aim was the tackling of accessibility and recycling issues as well as the reduction of the amount of spilled waste and litter on city centre streets and lanes.  The council engaged with city centre stakeholders throughout this process, and a survey found strong support from local residents and businesses, with the latter period of the pilot project seeing the eight locations completely clear of the 460 commercial waste containers that had previously been stored on the area’s streets.

Keep Scotland Beautiful carried out an evaluation of the project on behalf of the council, which found an improvement in environmental conditions with the highest cleanliness score in a decade as a result.  This, along with other data compiled by the council, underlined the need for the project to continue and be extended into other parts of the city.

Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm, said: “The commercial waste pilot has been a great success in the city centre, and in a couple of weeks it will begin its welcome rollout across the rest of Glasgow.  We can all look forward to the project leaving us with a cleaner, greener and safer city.”

The timetable for the project’s expansion was informed by public complaints and where enforcement action had to be taken for related issues.  Activity in each roll-out stage will be targeted initially at higher population areas in the major centres of each part of the city.

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Scotland’s first Low Emission Zone starts to take shape in Glasgow

Glasgow plans to have Scotland’s first Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in place as 2018 draws to a close.

The new zone, covering the city centre, is due to come into effect at 23:59 on 31 December 2018.

It will mark the start of a journey which will ultimately lead to all vehicles entering the zone being fully compliant by 31 December 2022.

The dates are confirmed for the first time in an update report set to go before councillors next week.

 

The report to Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction City Policy Committee, outlines the work being undertaken by the council and partners including Transport Scotland, Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) and SEPA to address the various technical and legal matters associated with establishing a LEZ in Glasgow.

Proposals to introduce a LEZ in Glasgow by 2018 were agreed by the council’s City Administration Committee in September last year.

Since then, the council has engaged with relevant stakeholders, major bus operators and SPT to outline potential scope of the LEZ and gain an insight on how Scottish Government funding for retrofitting of the bus fleet will be used by them to deliver a compliant bus service/fleet.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said: “We are making real progress on our plans to have Scotland’s first LEZ in place by the end of the year. Glasgow’s LEZ will be the first of its kind in Scotland and has been modelled as being capable of making significant reductions in levels of air pollution in the city centre.

“While we continue to work with the bus industry to improve services – services which are vital to the lives of Glaswegians -it’s recognised that the introduction of a LEZ needs to be proportionate and managed in such a way that ambition and practicality can be balanced.

“That is why the initial phase of the LEZ will address local buses through Traffic Regulation Conditions (TRC’s) set by the Traffic Commissioner.  Buses will be expected to meet Euro VI emission standard by December 2022. All other vehicles will also have to be compliant by that date, so we will be engaging widely with residents and businesses to ensure that everyone is aware of and prepared for the LEZ.

“Glasgow is forging a national path towards cleaner air – air that we will all benefit from. Poor air quality is a significant public health concern and a major social justice issue for Glasgow.

“Cleaner buses going through the city centre LEZ will also be travelling elsewhere and throughout our city’s neighbourhoods and this is a really positive step forward in how we, as a city and as a country, go about creating healthy, liveable streets.”

The timescales set out in the committee report are subject to the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland agreeing to impose a Traffic Regulation Condition following a regulatory impact assessment.

It is anticipated this process will take at least six months.

The LEZ update report is available here

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Bid to Ban Sky Lantern & Balloon Releases to Protect Wildlife

Sky lantern and balloon releases could soon be banned from all Glasgow City Council premises in a bid to protect wildlife.

The move comes a month after the council pledged to end the use of plastic straws in support of Sunnyside Primary School’s successful #NaeStrawAtAw campaign.

The Craigend primary is a School of Conservation with pupils learning about, and campaigning on, a range of environmental issues.

The school’s Ocean Defenders group recently made national news when #NaeStrawAtAw convinced the council to stop using plastic straws in all its restaurants and cafes as well as helping pupils in Ullapool to inspire the entire village to go plastic straw free.

#NaeStrawAtAw has also gained support from Best Bar None Glasgow, the SSE Hydro and restaurants and businesses at Glasgow Fort including Nandos, Harvester, Pret A Manger and Marks & Spencer. The Ocean Defenders also travelled to Arran to encourage primary pupils to lobby island businesses to end the use of plastic straws.

Now Sunnyside’s #PrettyDeadly campaign is prompting action on another form of pollution. It highlights the environmental threat from decorative balloons and lanterns which are often released at celebrations and launch events. Birds and other wildlife can die after becoming entangled in the wire frames of lanterns when they land in woods, fields and rivers and the candles inside also pose a fire risk.

Wild animals and livestock can also choke to death on balloons when they fall to earth – often miles from the release site. Even items claiming to be biodegradable can take many months to finally break down.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convenor for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said: “I’ve been so impressed by Sunnyside Primary School’s environmental campaigns. The pupils are so knowledgeable and passionate about protecting the planet. Their #NaestrawAtAw campaign was discussed at the Scottish Parliament and made national headlines, but more importantly, it convinced businesses to stop using plastic straws, preventing hundreds of thousands going to landfill or ending up in our rivers, streams and oceans.

“Now the pupils are highlighting the dangers posed by sky lanterns and balloon releases. Their arguments are so convincing that I’m proposing a ban on releases from all council-owned premises and land – including the city’s parks. Hopefully this draft policy will help put an end to environmental litter and the needless suffering of animals.”

Lisa Perrie, Sunnyside Primary School teacher, welcomed the proposed change in policy.

She said: “The pupils are delighted that the council is proposing to ban sky lanterns and balloon releases from all its premises. Although these items seem like pretty, fun and harmless entertainment, they can have a terrible impact on our wildlife and farm animals.

“Everyone at the school is very proud of all the hard work the pupils put into their environmental studies and the support they have attracted is proof that everyone can do something significant to reduce pollution and help the planet.”

The proposed ban on balloon releases and sky lanterns would apply to all council-owned land and premises. It would also be a condition of council building lets and event licensing. Environmentally-friendly celebrations such as flying kites, planting trees or scattering wildflower seeds will be encouraged instead.

The draft policy will be discussed at the Environment, Sustainability & Carbon Reduction City Committee on March 20th with the recommendation that it is referred to the City Administration Committee for approval.

CAPTION:- A campaign by Sunnyside Primary School’s Ocean Defenders prompted the council’s proposed ban on sky lantern and balloon releases. (link to photo at very bottom of release)

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Kelvin Art and Gallery Photographs

Kelvingrove Museum opened in 1901 and is a firm favourite with local people and visitors. It has stunning architecture and a family friendly atmosphere.

Explore our 22 galleries and discover everything from art to animals, Ancient Egypt to Charles Rennie Mackintosh and so much more. We also have a changing programme of temporary exhibitions and displays.

Enjoy an organ recital, a free tour or at weekends and holidays take part in one of our family activities.

If you only have one day in Glasgow, Kelvingrove is a must see! All photographs taken by Brian McGuire