UPDATE: On 7 May 2020 the national LEZ Leadership Group announced a temporary pause in plans to implement Low Emission Zones in Scotland in response to COVID-19. Plans were formally resumed on 6 August 2020 and a new indicative timescale presented for LEZs in Scotland that aims to see their introduction between February and May of 2022.
Due to the unprecedented, ongoing impacts of COVID-19, the new timetable is not finalised however it does represent a clear commitment by all partners to work as quickly as possible to introduce LEZs at the earliest possible time.
For Glasgow, the revised national timetable means that it will not be possible for Phase 2 of our LEZ to apply to all vehicles by 31 December 2022 as originally planned. This is because LEZs in Scotland can only be enforced after a compulsory grace period of at least one year after its introduction. Instead, Phase 2 will be moved out to 2023, with a more detailed, revised timetable for enforcement to be published as soon as possible.
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 only applies to local service buses.
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.
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.