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

Anna Richardson scaled
Anna Richardson scaled

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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