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Glasgow City Council

Low Emission Zone (LEZ)

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.

What is a Low Emission Zone?

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.

Why is Glasgow introducing a Low Emission Zone?

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.


A LEZ is capable of bringing about a significant improvement in air quality.

Its impact will make Glasgow city centre more pleasant and attractive for those living, working and visiting here.

Whilst Glasgow's LEZ will target those streets currently experiencing the highest levels of pollution, the benefits will be felt throughout Glasgow as cleaner vehicles travel into the city centre from outlying areas.

Glasgow's LEZ will:

  • Protect public health through tackling air pollution from road traffic in the city
  • Ensure that Glasgow moves more rapidly towards meeting Scottish and EU air quality objectives
  • Contribute to broader objectives and the vision by the City Government to lower vehicle emissions and promote active travel.


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) Bill, introduced in June 2018 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. 

The Transport Bill was passed on 10 October 2019 and will become law in Scotland in due course.


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