A statutory public consultation opens today on the proposed scheme design for Phase 2 of Glasgow's Low Emission Zone, which when enforced from 1 June 2023 will apply to all vehicles driving into the city centre.
The online consultation survey can be accessed here.
The council introduced Scotland's first ever Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in 2018 to address levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide in our city centre, predominantly caused by road traffic. Glasgow's LEZ is intended to protect public health by improving air quality which is of particular benefit to older and very young people, and for those with existing heart and lung conditions. Environmental benefits include the accelerated uptake of lower emission vehicles, whilst economic advantages are also deliverable, with cleaner air increasing the amenity and attractiveness of our city centre.
A phased approach to Glasgow's LEZ has been adopted to give people the chance to prepare. The current Phase 1 applies to local service buses only, whereas Phase 2 will include all vehicles entering the zone area, unless exempt.
LEZ Phase 2 is dependent on legislation, the progress of which was temporarily impacted by COVID-19. This means that enforcement of this second phase is now expected to be from 1 June 2023 which is slightly later than originally anticipated.
Whilst the Scottish Government has developed nationally standardised regulations and guidance relating to key aspects of Low Emission Zone operation including emission requirements, penalties and exemptions; the council can create, enforce, operate or revoke a Low Emission Zone and design its shape, size and scope based on local requirements. A preferred scheme design for Phase 2 of Glasgow's LEZ has therefore been developed, taking into consideration the evidence base, previous stakeholder engagement and the impacts of the pandemic. Proposals include:
The preferred scheme design also outlines the scheme objectives and the reasons why Glasgow should have a Low Emission Zone.
Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said: "The introduction of Glasgow's Low Emission Zone in 2018 shows our resolute determination to tackle air pollution in the city centre and beyond. To ease compliance, we are raising early awareness as well as supporting a wide range of projects and initiatives that encourage higher levels of active and more sustainable travel, and a reduced reliance on private vehicles. Our consultation sets out in detail, Phase 2 of Glasgow's LEZ, and we hope to get feedback from as many people as possible."
The consultation will begin on 24 June 2021 and run for a ten-week period, closing on 2 September 2021. The online survey can be accessed here.
Further information on air quality in Glasgow can be found on the Glasgow Air Quality website, including annual reports and action plans.