Cameras being installed in Glasgow city centre for Low Emission Zone to enforce rules

Plans to ban certain cars from entering Glasgow’s low emission zone are moving forward with cameras being installed to enforce the new rules.

Motorists with polluting vehicles will not be allowed to drive in about 200 streets from June 1 next year but residents living in the zone have until June 2024 to comply.

The aim is to improve air quality in the city and motorists with non compliant vehicles would be fined £60 if they break the rules.

Taxi drivers who prove they intend to get their car retrofitted to comply and those who show they are buying a new compliant vehicle can get time limited exemptions under new proposals. The trade has been expressing concerns about the pressures of complying with the new rules on drivers’ livelihoods.

The new rules will be introduced in 2023.

Taxi drivers who aren’t able to get their vehicle retrofitted would have an exemption of a year – but will need a compliant motor to operate beyond June 1, 2024 under proposals.

Councillors were given an update on the roll-out of the low emission zone today at the Net Zero and Climate Progress Monitoring City.

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A report presented to committee said a supplier of cameras to enforce the new low emission zone has been found.

The report said: “Installation of enforcement infrastructure is also underway with electrical supplies, ducting, camera poles etc. installed at most locations. This work is expected to be fully complete by the end of 2022.”

Road signs are also to be installed this year on roads to let motorists know about the new zone.

The LEZ will cover an area of the city bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, the River Clyde to the south and Saltmarket, High Street to the east.

Diesel engine vehicles registered before September 2015 and petrol vehicles registered before 2006 will not usually meet the low emission zone (LEZ) standards.

Speaking after the meeting, Green councillor Blair Anderson said: “Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone is going to save lives, with air pollution from traffic causing hundreds of deaths in our city every year.

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“We need to balance the need for real climate action with protecting people’s livelihoods so it is good to see that the Council will offer new exemptions through to 2024 for local residents and taxi operators who will struggle to comply with the new rules in time.

“Hopefully, coupled with the millions of pounds being invested in retrofitting and replacing the most polluting vehicles, this will give people time to make sure their vehicles are in line with our aims of reducing the health impacts of air pollution.”

Grant funding is available to retrofit taxis with a total of £6000 on offer per vehicle for exhaust retrofits and up to £12,000 per vehicle for engine repowering. Interest free loans are also available to buy new electric taxi vehicles.

SNP Councillor Norman MacLeod asked what the total bill for retrofitting vehicles would be and for details on how many black hackney drivers need to take action to comply.

Council head of sustainability Gavin Slater said taxi operators would have to pay £1000 to £2000 for an exhaust retrofit and just under £2000 for engine repowering. Those amounts would supplement the grant funding.

A council officer said out of 1,420 black hackneys, 84 additional vehicles have received a retrofit. This year there have been 123 applications received for a retrofit.

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Just under 400 vehicles are highly likely to be LEZ compliant already as they were registered after January 1, 2017.

The official said: “An additional number registered before that date will also be LEZ compliant as well.”

He said there is progress being made in terms of compliance.