One of Glasgow’s biggest food banks fridge van is ‘not allowed to drive’ in Glasgow LEZ

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The charity now need to raise £15,000 to buy a compliant new van

A Glasgow food provision charity is facing a ‘crisis’ as new LEZ rules deem the van they use for food provision non-compliant with emissions standards.

Homeless Project Scotland claim that their van being deemed non-compliant means that they are unable to collect or deliver food supplies in Glasgow City Centre.

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A lot of the charity’s food provision takes place in the city centre within the LEZ boundaries., to those struggling with food insecurity and Glasgow’s homeless residents, with major food drives taking place in both George Square and the Hielanman’s Umbrella underneath Glasgow Central.

The low emission zone runs throughout the city centre, from High Street and Salt Market in the East to the M8 ring road in the North and West - the LEZ is also bordered by the River Clyde to the south.

A map of the LEZ boundaries in Glasgow City Centre created by Glasgow City CouncilA map of the LEZ boundaries in Glasgow City Centre created by Glasgow City Council
A map of the LEZ boundaries in Glasgow City Centre created by Glasgow City Council | Glasgow City Council

In response to an appeal to Glasgow City Council from Homeless Project Scotland, a council spokesperson issued a statement to the charity, it reads:”Thank you for your recent application for a time-limited exemption for the Glasgow Low Emission Zone.

“Exemptions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and where the organisation applying can clearly demonstrate that timely efforts are being made to comply with LEZ requirements.

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“Private vehicles WILL NOT be considered for time-limited exemptions. Your application did not meet the above conditions and therefore a time-limited exemption cannot be granted in this instance.

“Please note that timely efforts to comply with LEZ requirements would generally require a replacement vehicle to be on order with delivery being awaited.”

The van currently in use by Homeless Project Scotland was only acquired by the charity in the summer of 2022.

In simple terms, the LEZ aims to reduce emissions from old cars on the road in Glasgow City Centre. This means that most diesel engine cars registered before September 2015 are unlikely to be compliant, and petrol vehicles registered before 2006 are unlikely to meet the LEZ standards.

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The LEZ has badly affected taxi trade in the city, with many drivers being forced off the road as they are unable to afford replacement LEZ compliant vehicles after incurring debt during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new LEZ rules have deemed the fridge van used by Homeless Project Scotland as non-compliant to emissions standards.(Pic: Homeless Project Scotland)The new LEZ rules have deemed the fridge van used by Homeless Project Scotland as non-compliant to emissions standards.(Pic: Homeless Project Scotland)
The new LEZ rules have deemed the fridge van used by Homeless Project Scotland as non-compliant to emissions standards.(Pic: Homeless Project Scotland) | Homeless Project Scotland

Posting on the crowd funding site, JustGiving, Homeless Project Scotland issued the appeal as such:”Homeless Project Scotland is a charity organisation that is dedicated to feeding the homeless and vulnerable in our city every day.

“Unfortunately, we have been faced with a crisis as Glasgow city council will not allow our current fridge van to drive in the low emission zones.

“This means that we are unable to collect and deliver crucial food supplies to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

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“The situation has become so urgent, that we are now in need of a new fridge van that meets the low emission requirements.

“The council has deemed collecting food and feeding the hungry as non-essential, but we know that this is not the case.

“We are determined to continue our efforts to help those who need it most, which is why we are turning to you for help.

“Any donation, big or small, can make a difference. By donating, you will be directly helping homeless Project Scotland to continue to collect and deliver food to the homeless and vulnerable in our community.”

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