An event to highlight the availability of grant funding of up to £10,000 to retrofit taxis so they meet LEZ emission requirements to protect public health; has seen operators attend in their numbers to find out more.
The Transport Scotland drop-in event at the Wise Group's office in Glasgow, follows the announcement of a new Retrofitting Fund which will make available £1.09 million in 2019/20; to convert taxi, van and HGV engines or exhausts in order to help commercial vehicles comply with Low Emission Zones in Scotland. Depending on uptake, this Scottish Government funding is anticipated to increase every year until 2021/22.
The council has engaged widely with the taxi trade to raise awareness and knowledge of Glasgow's LEZ. We have also looked at licensing policies to ensure that operators are supported to achieve compliance by December 2022, which is when the LEZ emission standards will apply to all vehicles entering the city centre zone, including taxis and private hire vehicles.
Councillor Alex Wilson, Chair of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee said: "We fully acknowledge the impact that meeting the new emission requirements will have for operators, and we have worked closely with the trade to keep them up to speed on developments, including an invite to a large-scale information event held in the city earlier this year.
"The new Retrofitting Fund is a welcome measure, enabling taxi operators to apply for a grant that will assist them achieve LEZ emission compliance. Last year and in anticipation of the potential for retrofit to become an option, our Licensing and Regulatory Committee agreed to allow the modification of vehicles in this way to achieve LEZ emission standard. In a similar vein, it was also agreed at the start of this year that LPG conversions would be permissible."
Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said:
"We are determined to clean up Glasgow's air and ensure our city centre is a healthier and more pleasant place to be.
"Our Low Emission Zone, which was the first to be introduced in Scotland, complements many of our projects and initiatives that aim to improve air quality, including those which encourage a shift toward active and sustainable travel.
"We have adopted a phased approach to implementation and by the end of 2022, the emission standards required to enter Glasgow's LEZ will apply to all vehicles. As a council we are working hard to smooth this transition and the availability of a fund to support taxi drivers, micro-businesses and HGVs is really fantastic news."