The most polluting vehicles will be excluded from entering the centre of the Scottish city from 1 June 2023 and a penalty charge will be payable if emission standards are not met.
Glasgow’s low emission zone (Lez) has been given the green light for full enforcement from 1 June 2023 by Scottish ministers.
This means the most polluting vehicles will be excluded from driving into the city centre but there will be a one-year grace period.
All vehicles entering the zone will be affected except for motorcycles and mopeds and those vehicle types or uses considered exempt such as vehicles for disabled persons. A penalty charge will be payable if the emission standards are not met.
Those with vehicles registered to a residential address within the zone have until 1 June 2024 before enforcement starts.
Glasgow City Council said the Lez is an essential measure to protect public health by tackling high levels of harmful air pollution in the city centre. Its design also supports wider climate change ambitions by encouraging a move away from car use towards more sustainable forms of transport.
It will operate 24 hours a day – all year round and cover an area of the city centre bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, the River Clyde to the south and Saltmarket/High Street to the east.
“We still have stubbornly high levels of harmful air pollution in some parts of the city centre, which is why restricting access to the most polluting vehicles is vital to protect public health”
The inclusion of all vehicles will maximise the health and environmental benefits deliverable and builds upon the first (bus-only) phase of Glasgow’s Lez which was introduced in 2018 and has since seen a much greater proportion of cleaner, low and zero emission local service buses travelling through our city centre.
“Glasgow has made good progress in tackling air pollution in recent years, in no small part thanks to the success of the early stages of Lez roll-out which has dramatically improved the emissions standards of buses on our city centre streets,” said councillor Angus Millar, city convener for Climate, Glasgow Green Deal, Transport and City Centre Recovery.
He added: “But we still have stubbornly high levels of harmful air pollution in some parts of the city centre, which is why restricting access to the most polluting vehicles is vital to protect public health and ensure our city centre is a more appealing and healthier place to be.
“We will continue to raise awareness and understanding of Glasgow’s Lez ahead of full enforcement as well as encourage and support compliance through a range of initiatives and projects, including those that encourage a switch to active and more sustainable forms of travel and a reduced reliance on private car.”
Road signage will be installed in the coming months to ensure that drivers are aware of the Lez boundary and the alternative routes available to avoid the zone area if required.
Practical, targeted assistance from the Scottish Government to help prepare for the introduction of low emission zones in Scotland has included funding for households, micro-businesses, and a separate retrofit fund including support for taxi drivers.
In May, Transport for London and London mayor Sadiq Khan announced a consultation into a citywide expansion of its ultra low emission zone, which would would see it extending it to the current low emission zone boundary, covering almost the whole of the city.