UPDATE: As of 7 May 2020, the Scottish Government's plans to implement Low Emission Zones across Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee have been paused temporarily in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. You can read more about this here.
While there has been a pause in development of the legislation, local authorities are proceeding with their plans for their respective implementation dates. For Glasgow, this means the existing LEZ will be extended to all other vehicles from the 31st December 2022.
Scotland's first Low Emission Zone (LEZ) came into effect in Glasgow city centre on 31 December 2018.
Glasgow's LEZ is being phased in and to start with, will only apply to local service buses.
On 31 December 2022 when the LEZ is fully implemented, all vehicles entering the zone will have to meet specified exhaust emission standards.
A Low Emission Zone is an area where a person may not drive a vehicle which does not meet a specified emission standard.
LEZs are intended to reduce pollution levels and improve air quality in areas where standards are not being met.
LEZs are based on a penalty notice approach to effectively ban non-compliant vehicles.
Air pollution impacts negatively on human health; particularly so for the very young, the elderly and those with existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions.
In Glasgow city centre, levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide are being recorded at levels which do not meet statutory expectations. The main source of this air pollutant within the city is from road traffic.
Glasgow's LEZ will help to reduce levels of nitrogen dioxide and other internal combustion sourced pollutants which will improve air quality and make Glasgow a safer, cleaner and more pleasant place to live, work and visit.
An added benefit is that as the majority of vehicles entering Glasgow's LEZ travel in from outside the zone, the positive effects of cleaner vehicles will be experienced across Glasgow and beyond.
Plans to establish Low Emission Zones in four of Scotland's cities were set out within the First Minister's Programme for Government 2017-18.
Proposals to introduce Scotland's first LEZ in Glasgow by the end of December 2018 were approved by the council's City Administration Committee in September 2017. It was agreed that initially, the LEZ would apply to local service buses only.
In June 2018, the same committee granted approval to extend the LEZ to all vehicle types from 31 December 2022.
The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 will enable the creation and civil enforcement of LEZs by local authorities, and will allow the Scottish Government to set consistent national standards for a number of key aspects including, but not limited to, emissions, penalties, certain exemptions and parameters for grace periods.