Low Emission Zones set an environmental limit on certain road spaces - restricting access for the most polluting vehicles to improve air quality and protect public health.
A penalty charge will be payable by the vehicle's registered keeper if a vehicle enters a LEZ and does not not meet the emission requirements.
From 1 June 2023, Glasgow's LEZ will apply to all vehicles driving into the city centre zone. Please note however that:
Harmful nitrogen dioxide is being recorded in our city centre at levels that do not meet statutory objectives.
As the main source of this air pollutant is from road traffic, Glasgow's LEZ is an essential measure to improve air quality and protect public health.
Glasgow's LEZ is being phased in to give everyone the chance to prepare:
Enforcement for zone residents will start on 1 June 2024. The vehicle must be registered to a residential address within the LEZ zone area to qualify for this grace period.
Glasgow's LEZ covers 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.
Emission standards for LEZs in Scotland have been set nationally - these are:
• Euro 4 for petrol vehicles
• Euro 6 for diesel vehicles
• Euro IV for heavy duty petrol vehicles such as buses/coaches and HGVs
• Euro VI for heavy duty diesel vehicles such as buses/coaches and HGVs
It is generally the case that diesel engine vehicles registered after September 2015, and petrol vehicles registered from 2006 onwards will meet the required LEZ standards.
Transport Scotland have prepared a basic online vehicle checker to help you understand if your vehicle can enter a Low Emission Zone in Scotland.
Fully electric vehicles comply with LEZ requirements in Scotland.
If you are thinking of switching to electric, you might be eligible for a grant or loan to help you buy - see the Energy Saving Trust website for more information.
Motorcycles and mopeds are unaffected by LEZ schemes in Scotland.
Certain vehicle types are also exempt from LEZ emission requirements in Scotland - these are set out in detail below:
Vehicles for Disabled Persons:
Blue badges are assigned to a person, not a vehicle, so a blue badge holder could travel in any vehicle and the rules of the blue badge would need to be applied to that vehicle on that day of travel. We are working with Transport Scotland on the matter of how exemptions for blue badge holders will operate in practice. Once all details are finalised, these will be publicised well in advance of the LEZ enforcement.
The vehicle is being driven by any person who is:
Naval, Military or Air Force Vehicles:
Vehicles described as either "showman's goods vehicle" or "showman's vehicle" according to section 62(1) of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994. Note: these are highly specialised vehicles used for the purposes of travelling showmen, where the vehicle is used during the performance, used for the purpose of providing the performance or used for carrying performance equipment
Time-Limited (Temporary) Local Exemptions
The council can issue 'time-limited' (temporary) exemptions to Glasgow's LEZ in respect of specific vehicle types/categories.
It is proposed that Glasgow's LEZ does not include such general exemptions however a mechanism will be put in place whereby exemptions may be granted in advance of entry for exceptional circumstances. This may be granted for one-off entry by specialist vehicles for example, or for a specialist purpose.
Temporary exemptions will not be considered for general travel or commercial operations
Fully electric vehicles comply with LEZ requirements in Scotland.
If you are thinking of switching to electric, you might be eligible for a grant or loan to help you buy.
Find out more by visiting the Energy Saving Trust webpages.
Zone residents will have an extra year to comply, with enforcement starting from 1 June 2024. The vehicle must be registered to a residential address within the LEZ zone area to qualify for this grace period.
A letter to raise early awareness of this grace period was issued directly to zone residents in August 2021 - a copy is available below:
For information, Glasgow's LEZ covers 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:
Set at national level by the Scottish Government for consistency, the initial penalty charge for all non-compliant vehicles entering a Low Emission Zone in Scotland will be £60 - reduced by 50% if it is paid within 14 days.
A surcharge is also proposed whereby the penalty amount doubles with each subsequent breach of the rules detected in the same LEZ.
The penalty charges are capped at £480 for cars and light goods vehicles, and £960 for buses and HGVs.
Where there are no further breaches of the rules detected within the 90 days following a previous violation, the surcharge rate is reset to the base tier of charge i.e. £60.
Legislation states that penalties will be used to support the air quality objectives of the Low Emission Zones.
The Scottish Government committed through the 2018 Programme for Government to help those who will have most difficulty preparing for the introduction of Low Emission Zones in the four cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.
Full details of all current Scottish Government grant funding availability (and to register for future rounds where appropriate) can be found on the national Low Emission Zone website.
Other, related grants and loans funded by Transport Scotland and managed by the Energy Saving Trust (EST), can be found on the EST website.
LEZs in Scotland will operate continuously - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras will be used (linked to a national vehicle licencing database) to monitor vehicles driving in our Low Emission Zone. They will detect vehicles which do not comply with the required emission standards.
Please note that the council may temporarily suspend the operation of Glasgow's LEZ for a specified period where it is considered appropriate to do so for the purposes of a significant national or local event. A temporary suspension may also be issued in relation to a temporary diversion into the LEZ, where vehicles follow the signed diversionary route.
Roadside signage will be installed to let drivers know when they are entering Glasgow's Low Emission Zone. Positioning of signs will take account of the need for those who do not wish to enter the zone to take an alternative route.
To raise early awareness, indicative LEZ signage has been in position at several key entry points into Glasgow city centre since 2018.
Initial Consultation (March 2020):
To help shape the Phase 2 design of Glasgow's LEZ, the council ran its first consultation in 2020, with responses invited on details including boundary options and grace periods. The findings were independently reviewed and summarised:
Statutory Consultation (September 2021):
LEZ emission standards, penalty charges and exemptions have all been decided at national level, however the council is able to determine the shape, size and scope of our LEZ, based on local requirements.
Proposals for the design and operation of Glasgow's LEZ Phase 2 were drawn up and consulted upon in summer/autumn 2021, with almost 3,000 responses received.
During the period of publication, formal objections to Glasgow's LEZ scheme could be registered. A report summarising these objections was published on 7 March 2022 and noted by the council's Environment Committee. Whilst all objections were considered, the pressing need to address the negative health impacts arising from air pollution, combined with the practical support that has been made available to those most affected, resulted in no further changes to the proposed design of Glasgow's LEZ.
Glasgow's final LEZ scheme design was subsequently approved by the council's City Administration Committee on 10 March 2022. Details of the scheme will now be submitted to Scottish Ministers, with potential outcomes including approval, a requirement to modify, or a move to formal examination.
To complement the introduction of Glasgow's own LEZ, a wide range of work is underway in our city to improve air quality. This would include encouraging higher levels of active and sustainable travel, driving up standards in public transport and reducing reliance on private vehicles.
In respect of our own fleet, a new strategy has set out proposals that all of the council's 2,000 vehicles should by emissions free by the end of 2029. It is intended that only electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, across all sizes and classifications, will be used to deliver crucial city services by 2030.