Whilst Glasgow has made good progress in tackling air pollution, we need to reduce levels of harmful vehicle emissions in our city centre. These can cause health problems, particularly for those most vulnerable.
That's why from 1 June 2023, our Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will come into force.
All vehicles entering the city centre zone area will need to meet the less-polluting emission standards or face a penalty charge.
There are some exemptions and zone residents have extra time to comply.
Fully electric vehicles comply with LEZ requirements in Scotland.
Motorcycles and mopeds are unaffected.
Harmful nitrogen dioxide is being recorded in our city centre at levels that do not meet the legal requirements.
As the main source of this pollutant is from road traffic, Glasgow's Low Emission Zone is an essential measure to improve air quality and help protect public health, especially for those most vulnerable.
Glasgow's LEZ can also:
Glasgow's LEZ will:
You can read the full details of Glasgow's LEZ Final Scheme Design by clicking on this link.
Glasgow's LEZ is being phased in to give everyone time to prepare:
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.
Click on the links below, for further details about specific roads/streets affected by Glasgow's LEZ:
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
Vehicles which have been appropriately modified or retrofitted to meet or exceed these emission standards will also be permitted entry to LEZs in Scotland.
For practical purposes, 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.
You may be able to find Euro standard information on the inside of your vehicle's door frame. For newer vehicles, the Euro standard may be listed on the V5C registration document (log-book).
If you are in any doubt, you can contact the vehicle manufacturer to check.
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.
Transport Scotland are working on an online tool that will enable motorists to check if their vehicle meets LEZ emission standards by entering their registration number.
Until this is ready, they have prepared a basic online vehicle checker.
Whilst the results are not a guarantee or proof that a vehicle can enter a LEZ, they can give an indication meantime.
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:
Transport Scotland is developing an online scheme for blue badge holders to register vehicles they are travelling in.
Blue badge holders will be able to register for a long-term or short-term exemption to drive in a LEZ.
If the journey is a one-off or irregular visit to a LEZ, blue badge holders will be able to register for a short-term exemption to cover their travel. The exemption applies to any vehicle whether the blue badge holder is the driver or the passenger.
More information about how to access the scheme will be available soon and will be publicised in advance of enforcement.
The vehicle is being driven by any person who is:
Naval, Military or Air Force Vehicles:
Vehicles of 'historical interest' means a vehicle which is considered to be of historical interest to the UK, and which -
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
Under LEZ legislation the council can grant vehicles that do not meet LEZ emission standards, a time-limited (temporary) exemption of up to one year.
Whilst there are no plans to propose a general exemption for a vehicle or type of vehicle, taxi operators in Glasgow who are ineligible for a grant funded vehicle retrofit solution to achieve emissions compliance may apply for a 'time limited' exemption of one year based on vehicle use.
You can read more about this decision which was approved by our City Administration Committee on 13 October 2022 by clicking on this link.
Applications can be made for a temporary exemption whereby the entry of a non-compliant vehicle into the zone is required for a specific, defined purpose which is not otherwise considered in LEZ legislation or Regulations. Examples may include abnormal loads or machinery transport, or any other non-compliant vehicle use considered appropriate on application to the council.
A mechanism for applying for an exemption in these circumstances will be published on these webpages in advance of enforcement.
Temporary Suspension of the LEZ:
LEZ legislation allows the council to temporarily suspend the zone (in part or in full) for events of local/national significance.
We will determine any need to suspend Glasgow's LEZ for events on a case-by-case in consultation with the Scottish Government.
We may also suspend Glasgow's LEZ in emergency situations such as if an incident on a nearby road requires traffic to be temporarily diverted through the zone area.
Any emergency suspension will be determined by the council.
Zone residents have extra time to prepare for Glasgow's LEZ.
Enforcement for vehicles registered to a residential property within the zone area will not start until 1 June 2024.
A letter to raise early awareness of this 'grace period' was issued to zone residents in August 2021:
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:
Click on the links below for further details about affected roads/streets:
As emissions at all times contribute towards the levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide in our city centre, Glasgow's LEZ will operate continuously - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras linked to a national vehicle licencing database will be used to monitor vehicles driving into Glasgow's Low Emission Zone. They will detect vehicles which do not comply with the required emission standards.
When a non-compliant vehicle is detected in the zone, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle.
Statutory roadside signage that will let drivers know they are approaching the LEZ are being installed locally, as well as on the M8 motorway.
Positioning of LEZ signs considers those who do not wish to enter the zone, enabling them to take an alternative route.
Installation of LEZ signage at West Graham Street/M8 Ramp and Phoenix Rd / New City Rd will be undertaken by Transport Scotland.
Glasgow's Low Emission Zone will be enforced from 1 June 2023.
From this date onwards, if a non-compliant vehicle is detected in our city centre LEZ, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued to the registered keeper of that vehicle.
All revenue (above that incurred in running the LEZ scheme itself) can only be used for activities that help reduce air pollution and/or contribute toward achieving our climate change targets.
Ahead of general LEZ enforcement in Glasgow from 1 June 2023, a working group has been set up to oversee planning for the operational phase of the city centre LEZ, complementing national activity led by Transport Scotland.
Procurement for camera and back-office solutions is already underway, whilst installation of enforcement infrastructure is at an advanced stage.
Official signage for Scottish LEZs has been established at national level and confirmed with all LEZ cities.
Signs and road markings are in the process of being installed, both within the city centre area and on the M8 motorway.
Access to vehicle databases for LEZ compliance checks and enforcement is being undertaken at national level and is expected to be in place by the end of 2022, allowing for an extended testing period before enforcement.
Practical, targeted assistance from the Scottish Government to help prepare for the introduction of Low Emission Zones in Scotland has included funding for households and micro-businesses, and a separate retrofit fund.
Further information about the funding currently available for those eligible can be found on the Energy Saving Trust website.
You may also be interested in options to purchase an e-bike or electric vehicle:
Active travel is a fantastic way to avoid driving into Glasgow's LEZ and is beneficial to your health and fitness. If you don't have far to travel, you could consider walking or cycling to your destination.
If your journey is longer, why not walk or cycle to the bus stop, railway station or other form of public transport?
Don't have access to a cycle? Why not consider Glasgow's hugely popular cycle hire scheme powered by nextbike.
Other useful resources include:
Glasgow has a comprehensive public transport system which can be used as an alternative to the car.
As a Co-wheels member, you can have access to cars in Glasgow, as well as hundreds more right across the UK. Cars are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be booked by the hour, day or as long as you want.
The cars are conveniently located in reserved on-street parking bays across Glasgow.
To support the operation of Glasgow's LEZ, funding from Transport Scotland has ensured that all Co-wheels vehicles available for hire in the city centre LEZ zone are now fully electric.
ECO Stars is the FREE recognition scheme that aims to help fleet operators improve efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and emissions whilst achieving cost savings.
The initiative is operated on behalf of the council by TRL and is available for fleets of any size.
Membership has shown in numerous case studies to have had a dramatic improvement in fuel efficiency which saves money and reduces environmental impact.
Read the case studies below to see how Eco Stars can help your business or organisation:
Glasgow continues to have good air quality, with the majority of our city meeting all air quality targets.
Whilst the LEZ is an important tool to help us reduce harmful vehicle emissions in our city centre, there are many other initiatives and projects ongoing across the city to improve air quality and protect public health.
A report to our Net Zero Committee on 8 November 2022, highlighted a range of measures currently in place such as publicity and enforcement campaigns to discourage vehicle idling, vehicle emissions testing and the first phase of the LEZ which has seen an increase in the number of buses travelling through the city centre that meet the less polluting emission standards.
Similarly, Glasgow's Transport Strategy strives to improve air quality through sustainable transport investment and decision-making, whilst also supporting the delivery of a Clyde Metro following its recent emergence as a draft recommendation from the Scottish Government's second Strategic Transport Projects Review.
Air quality improvement is also embedded within policies such as our Climate Plan, Active Travel Strategy and City Centre Transport Plan, all of which encourage walking, wheeling and cycling and more sustainable forms of travel for everyday journeys.