A statutory public consultation opens today on the proposed scheme design for Phase 2 of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone, which when enforced from 1 June 2023 will apply to all vehicles driving into the city centre.
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. The current Phase 1 applies to local service buses only, whereas Phase 2 will be broader in scope and will include all vehicles entering the zone area, unless exempt.
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 preferred scheme design for Phase 2 of Glasgow’s LEZ has therefore been developed, taking into consideration the evidence base, previous stakeholder engagement (including the findings of a non-statutory consultation) and the impacts of the pandemic. Proposals include:
- That the scheme comes into effect on 31 May 2022 with a one-year grace period, meaning enforcement of Glasgow’s LEZ will start on 1 June 2023. An additional one-year grace period for vehicles registered to residential addresses within the LEZ will apply, and enforcement of the LEZ for these vehicles will begin on 1 June 2024.
- A geographical area comprising of much of the city centre, bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, the River Clyde to the south and Saltmarket/High St to the east.
- That the scheme operates, 365 days a year and 24 hours a day.
- That the LEZ will apply to all vehicle types, except for motorbikes and mopeds, and those vehicle types or uses considered exempt in Regulations which have been set nationally.
- That applications for a time-limited exemption to LEZ requirements (under circumstances where entry of a non-compliant vehicle is required for a specific, defined purpose) will be determined on merit, but will not be considered for the routine transport of people or goods or for routine commercial operations.
The preferred scheme design also outlines the scheme objectives and the reasons why Glasgow should have a Low Emission Zone.
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 sets out in detail, Phase 2 of Glasgow’s LEZ, and we hope to get feedback from as many people as possible.”
The consultation will begin on 24 June 2021 and run for ten weeks, closing on 2 September 2021. The survey can be accessed here.
Further information on air quality in Glasgow can be found on the Glasgow Air Quality website, including annual reports and action plans.
Lindsay Richardson (Public Relations Officer)
Glasgow City Council
Phone: 07391 380101