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Glasgow City Council

Glasgow's Low Emission Zone (LEZ)

Overview

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) came into force.

All vehicles entering the city centre zone area must now meet the less-polluting emission standards or face a penalty charge.

You can pay/appeal a LEZ Penalty Charge Notice by clicking on this link.

LEZ map (STV version)

There are some exemptions to Glasgow's LEZ, and zone residents have extra time to comply.

Fully electric vehicles meet LEZ requirements in Scotland.

Motorbikes and mopeds are not included in the current LEZ schemes and no restrictions apply.

Full details about Glasgow's LEZ can be found on our LEZ Key Information page.

Quick Links:

  • Public hire taxi operators applying for a time-limited (temporary) exemption can do so by clicking on this link.
  • In exceptional circumstances, Glasgow's LEZ scheme will allow for time-limited (temporary) exemptions of up to one year. You can find out more and access the application process by clicking on this link.

Why Glasgow Needs a Low Emission Zone

Although we've made good progress in recent years to improve Glasgow's air quality, 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 harmful 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 help accelerate the uptake of less polluting vehicles, encourage people to move away from private car use and increase the safety, attractiveness, and amenity of our city centre.

LEZ Development/Consultation

Phase 1 of Glasgow's LEZ (which affects buses only) was introduced on 31 December 2018.

Phase 2 expands the scope of Glasgow's LEZ so that it affects all vehicles driving into the city centre zone, including private cars.  As of 1 June 2023, all vehicles entering the city centre zone area must meet the less-polluting emission standards or face a penalty charge.

Many elements of LEZs in Scotland are set at national level for consistency.  This would include the emission standards and penalties.

The council has however determined the specific design and operation of Glasgow's LEZ after careful consideration of what is required locally.

This is set out in Glasgow's LEZ Phase 2 Final Scheme Design.

Main development/consultation stages of LEZ Phase 2:

  • March 2020: To help shape the LEZ Phase 2 design, we ran our first public consultation in 2020. The findings were independently reviewed and summarised.
  • Summer/Autumn 2021: LEZ Phase 2 design proposals were consulted upon with almost 3,000 responses received.
  • September 2022: An update of the LEZ workplan ahead of enforcement, and our intended approach to exemptions/time-limited exemptions was provided to our Net Zero Committee on 20 September 2022.

An extensive campaign of LEZ awareness has been underway since 2018, including the installation of indicative signage at key entry points around the zone boundary.

Throughout development of LEZ Phase 2, the council has widely consulted and engaged with the public and key stakeholder groups. This includes hosting events and writing out directly to those most affected, such as zone residents.

In addition, the council has supported and cross promoted Transport Scotland's wider, national LEZ communications campaign which has included highlighting the Scottish Government's support funding and other assistance available to individuals and businesses to ease compliance.

To increase awareness and understanding of Glasgow's LEZ, our 'Plan Ahead for the LEZ' publicity campaign commenced in December 2022.

Statutory LEZ signage and road markings were installed on key routes into the city centre in 2022.

LEZ Legislation/Regulations

The Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 provides the legislation to enable the creation and civil enforcement of LEZs.

The Scottish Government has also developed regulations and guidance, relating to a number of key LEZ aspects including emissions, penalties, certain exemptions and parameters for grace periods. The council however has the powers to create, enforce, operate or revoke a Low Emission Zone and to design its shape, size and vehicle scope, based on local requirements.

There are two sets of national regulations for LEZs:

These Regulations were finalised following a consultation which asked questions about key aspects of LEZ regulations and guidance, particularly views on emission standards, exemptions and penalty charges.

The Traffic Signs Amendment (Scotland) Regulations and General Directions 2022 refers to the road signs and markings that indicate a Low Emission Zone.

LEZ Reports/Evidence Base

This area contains the evidence used in developing and designing Glasgow's LEZ.

Last updated: December 2022

pdf icon Glasgow’s LEZ – Final Scheme Design as Approved [3Mb]

pdf icon Glasgow's LEZ - Preferred Scheme Design (Phase 2) [626kb]

pdf icon LEZ Objections Report [147kb]

pdf icon Glasgow Air Quality Evidence Report – initial report on the LEZ proposals by SEPA [5Mb]

pdf icon Glasgow’s LEZ – Prepared by SEPA – an interim report from 2020 on phase 1 of the LEZ and lockdown [3Mb]

pdf icon Glasgow LEZ Emissions Report – final report from SEPA detailing emissions reductions through the LEZ [1Mb]

pdf icon Low Emission Zone – Glasgow Evidence Report by SEPA (final) [4Mb]

pdf icon Consideration of Carbon Dioxide emissions within an LEZ scheme: Glasgow – Report by SEPA [570kb]

pdf icon Glasgow City Centre LEZ Testing – Transport modelling report on the LEZ boundary options by Systra [2Mb]

pdf icon LEZ Post Covid Uncertainty Summary Note – Note on post covid uncertainty prepared by Jacobs / Systra for Transport Scotland [771kb]

pdf icon Glasgow City Centre LEZ Testing Covid Measures – Report on LEZ transport modelling including preferred boundary options and uncertainty prepared by Systra [2Mb]

pdf icon Glasgow LEZ IIA Final Report – Integrated Impact Assessment of the preferred LEZ scheme prepared by Jacobs [2Mb]

LEZ Contravention Data

 LEZ Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) issued:

 

 PCN 1

 (£60)

 PCN 2

 (£120)

 PCN 3

 (£240)

 PCN 4

 (£480)

 PCN 5

 (£960)

 Total:

 June 2023

 2897

 0

 0

 0

 0

 2897

 July 2023

 5365

 687

 85

 1

 1

 6139

 Aug 2023

 4848

 607

 201

 80

 21

 5757

 Sept 2023

 4404

 569

 196

 83

 89

 5341

 Oct 2023

 1834

 228

 69

 54

 51

 2236

 Nov 2023

 3037

 227

 81

 34

 60

 3439

 Dec 2023

 2947

 301

 75

 50

 98

 3471

 Jan 2024

 2391

 275

  76

  45

 127

 2914

To allow for a period of familiarisation during its first month of operation, non-compliant vehicles detected in Glasgow's LEZ received a maximum of one Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) in June 2023. 

Surcharging (whereby the penalty charge rate doubles for subsequent LEZ breaches) commenced in July 2023 and applies after the first, or most recent PCN can be expected to have been received by the vehicle's registered keeper.

Penalties are reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days, with all revenue above that incurred in running Glasgow's LEZ scheme itself, only used for activities that help reduce air pollution or contribute toward achieving our climate change targets.

 

Penalty Charge Rates:

Vehicle:Vehicle Category:Initial Penalty Charge:Subsequent Penalty Charges:
  12345
Light passenger vehicles (cars)M1£60£120£240£480£480
MinibusM2£60£120£240£480£960
Bus and coachM3£60£120£240£480£960
Light Goods Vehicle (LVCs)N1£60£120£240£480£480
Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs)N2£60£120£240£480£960
N3£60£120£240£480£960
Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)Type dependent£60£120£240£480£480

Set at national level by the Scottish Government for consistency across cities, the initial penalty charge rate for all non-compliant vehicles entering a LEZ in Scotland is £60.

The penalty charge rate doubles with each subsequent breach of the rules detected in the same LEZ. The rates are capped at £480 for cars and light goods vehicles, and £960 for minibuses, buses, coaches and HGVs. 

Any further breaches of LEZ rules by the same vehicle detected in the same LEZ once this cap is reached will result in future PCNs issued at the capped penalty charge rate. 

Where there are no further breaches of the rules detected within the 90 days following a previous violation, the penalty rate will be reset to the base tier charge of £60.

 

LEZ Data Analysis Tool

Using traffic modelling information provided by SYSTRA, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has developed an interactive tool to show the predicted changes in both emissions and traffic levels expected under the proposed Phase 2 LEZ measures. The tool allows users to explore these changes on a street by street basis and is available via the link below:

LEZ Data Analysis Tool

SEPA also created a tool demonstrating air quality improvements in the first phase of Glasgow's LEZ.  It shows how pollution has been driven down in some of the busiest bus corridors in the city centre.

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