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Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone Takes Shape Ahead of Public Consultation

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report will go before the Environment, Sustainability & Carbon Reduction City Policy Committee next week (8 June 2021) to provide an update on the progress of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone and detail the proposed scheme design for its second phase, ahead of a statutory consultation due to start later this month.

The council introduced Scotland’s first ever Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in 2018 to address levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide in our city centre, predominantly caused by road traffic.

Glasgow’s LEZ is intended to protect public health by improving air quality which is of particular benefit to older and very young people, and for those with existing heart and lung conditions. Environmental benefits include the accelerated uptake of lower emission vehicles, whilst economic advantages are also deliverable, with cleaner air increasing the amenity and attractiveness of our city centre.

A phased approach to Glasgow’s LEZ has been adopted to give people the chance to prepare. Phase 1 which was introduced in 2018 applies to local service buses only, whereas Phase 2 will be far broader in scope and will include all vehicles entering the city centre zone, unless exempt.

Phase 2 of Glasgow’s LEZ is dependent on legislation, the progress of which was temporarily impacted by COVID-19. This means that enforcement of this second phase is now expected to be from 1 June 2023 onwards (subject to the relevant approvals), which is slightly later than originally anticipated.

Whilst the Scottish Government has developed nationally standardised regulations and guidance relating to key aspects of Low Emission Zone operation including emission requirements, penalties and exemptions; the council can create, enforce, operate or revoke a Low Emission Zone and design its shape, size and scope based on local requirements. A scheme design for Phase 2 of Glasgow’s LEZ has therefore been developed, taking into consideration the evidence base, findings of a previous non-statutory consultation and the impacts of the pandemic.

The consultation, which opens later this month will set out the rationale behind the requirement for a Low Emission Zone in Glasgow city centre, and will include details of its scope, proposed start date, intended boundary, and grace periods for zone residents and non-residents.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said: “The introduction of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone in 2018 shows our resolute determination to tackle air pollution in the city centre and beyond.

“To ease compliance, we are raising early awareness as well as supporting a wide range of projects and initiatives that encourage higher levels of active and more sustainable travel, and a reduced reliance on private vehicles.

“Our consultation will set out in detail, Phase 2 of Glasgow’s LEZ, and we hope to get feedback from as many people as possible when it opens later this month.”

report will go before the Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Committee on 8 June 2021.A report will go before the Environment, Sustainability & Carbon Reduction City Policy Committee next wee

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