Most Glaswegians oppose plans for Low Emission Zone in city centre

A scheme which could see some cars banned from Glasgow city centre in 2023 has received a negative response from locals.

Some cars could be banned from entering the city centre from 2023.

Glasgow City Council introduced Scotland’s first Low Emission Zone in 2018, but changes planned for June 1, 2023, mean all vehicles which enter the city centre must meet exhaust emission standards to avoid a penalty charge, unless exempt.

A consultation was held to give Glaswegians a chance to share their views on the plans to expand the scheme - and more than 3000 people responded to the consultation.

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What do Glaswegians think of the plans?

When asked for their overall thoughts on the proposal for a Low Emission Zone in Glasgow, 38 per cent strongly opposed it and 13 per cent opposed it. Just 22 per cent strongly supported it.

When asked about the proposed boundary for the scheme, 34 per cent of respondents said they don’t support an LEZ in Glasgow. A further 21 per cent said the boundary would be too big. Just 28 per cent agreed with the boundary.

30 per cent also strongly disagreed with the proposed emission standards, compared to 16 per cent who strongly agreed.

What happens now?

Yesterday, the Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction City Policy Committee considered and noted the outcomes of the consultation.

No changes were proposed to the design following the consultation. No major changes are planned to the boundary, however, minor changes might be made as a result of feedback.

The final scheme design will now be published for a period of at least 28 days during which time formal objections can be registered. A report on any objections received will be prepared and the scheme adjusted if necessary. This will be detailed in a report to committee in early 2022, where permission will be sought to refer the final scheme to the City Administration Committee for approval.

If approval is granted, Glasgow’s final LEZ scheme will be submitted to Scottish Ministers, with potential outcomes including approval, a requirement to modify, or a move to formal examination.

What is the Low Emission Zone?

The Low Emission Zone was introduced as a means of improving the impact road traffic, the main source of air pollutant, has on these levels.

Those living within the Low Emission Zone will have until June 1, 2024, to meet the new requirements.

Some vehicles will also be exempt from the new penalties, including emergency service vehicles, vehicles for disabled people, historic vehicles and military vehicles.

Motorcycles, mopeds, motorised mopeds and quadricycles are also not covered by Low Emission Zone schemes in Scotland.

To find out what the proposed standards are, click here.

What is Glasgow City Council saying?

Cllr Anna Richardson, city convener for sustainability and carbon reduction said: “Glasgow’s LEZ is already making a difference, with air quality improvements evident since its introduction, and greater numbers of greener, cleaner buses now travelling through our city centre and the surrounding areas. Expanding Glasgow’s LEZ to include all vehicles as part of the Phase 2 scheme design is an ambitious but essential measure to ensure that we deliver the air quality improvements that we need to see to protect public health, especially as we know that air pollution disproportionately affects the most vulnerable in our society.

“We’ll continue to engage widely to ensure that everyone understands how Glasgow’s LEZ will operate, the health benefits it will deliver and how to prepare ahead of its full roll-out in June 2023.”