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Glasgow City Council

Glasgow's Low Emission Zone (LEZ) - Key Information

Overview

Air pollution is harmful to our health and disproportionately affects the most vulnerable, including the very young and those with existing heart and lung conditions.

Whilst Glasgow has made good progress in tackling air pollution, there are some areas of our city centre where levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide are higher than the legal standard. 

As road traffic is the main source of nitrogen dioxide, Glasgow's Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is an essential measure to improve air quality and protect public health.

Low Emission Zones set an environmental limit on certain roads, restricting access for the most polluting vehicles.

A penalty charge is payable by the registered keeper if a vehicle enters a LEZ and does not meet the emission requirements.

Glasgow's LEZ will cover 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.  

From 1 June 2023, the emission standards will apply to all vehicles driving into the city centre zone.

There are some exemptions and zone residents will have extra time to comply.

 

How Glasgow's LEZ will work

Glasgow's LEZ will: 

  • operate continuously, 24 hours a day, all year round
  • cover 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
  • issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) to the registered keeper of a vehicle that enters the LEZ and does not comply with the minimum emission standards
  • identify non-compliant vehicles entering the zone by using automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras
  • be enforced from 1 June 2023 - we will not issue PCNs until this date
  • apply to all vehicles entering the zone, except those entitled to an exemption (this includes blue badge holders) and those vehicles unaffected by LEZ requirements (motorcycles and mopeds)

You can read the full details of Glasgow's LEZ Final Scheme Design by clicking on this link.

Key Dates

Glasgow's LEZ is being phased in to give everyone time to prepare:

  • Phase 1 (buses only) was introduced on 31 December 2018
  • Phase 2 (all vehicles) is now in operation but will not be enforced until 1 June 2023
  • Enforcement for vehicles registered to a residential property within the zone area will start on 1 June 2024

Zone Boundary

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.  

Glasgow LEZ - Phase 2 boundary map

Click on the links below, for further details about specific roads/streets affected by Glasgow's LEZ:

Emission standards

Petrol/Diesel Vehicles:

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

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. 

Electric Vehicles:

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.

Exempt Vehicles

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:

  • the vehicle is being driven by any person who is in receipt of a badge (a blue badge) that has been issued under section 21(2) of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970,
  • a passenger in the vehicle has been issued with a badge under that section of that Act, or
  • a badge for the vehicle has been issued under section 21(4) of that Act,
  • a reduction in annual rate of vehicle excise duty applies because the vehicle is being used by a disabled person in receipt of personal independence payment at the standard rate, or
  • Vehicles registered with a 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicles' tax class e.g. the vehicle is exempt from payment of vehicle excise duty under paragraph 19(1) or 20(1) of schedule 2 of the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (exemptions from excise duty for vehicles used by 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.

Emergency Vehicles:

The vehicle is being driven by any person who is:

  • undertaking their duty as a constable
  • providing a response to an emergency at the request of the Scottish Ambulance Service Board
  • exercising the functions of the Scottish Ambulance Service Board, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Her Majesty's Coastguard or the National Crime Agency

Naval, Military or Air Force Vehicles:

  • vehicles being used for naval, military or air force purposes

Historic Vehicles:

Vehicles of 'historical interest' means a vehicle which is considered to be of historical interest to the UK, and which -

  • was manufactured, or registered, for the first time at least 30 years previously,
  • is of a type no longer in production, and
  • has been historically preserved or maintained in its original state and has not undergone substantial changes in the technical characteristics of its main components.

Showman's Vehicles:

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

Temporary Exemptions

Local 'Time-Limited' (Temporary) Exemptions:

Under LEZ legislation the council can grant vehicles that do not meet LEZ emission standards, a temporary (time-limited) 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.

Applications will be determined on their individual merits.

 

Temporary Suspensions:

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

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:

pdf icon Letter issued to LEZ zone area residents - August 2021 [232kb]

 

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:  

Glasgow LEZ - Phase 2 boundary map

Click on the links below for further details about affected roads/streets:

Operation and Enforcement

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.

Signage locations:

  • George V Bridge / Clyde Place
  • Gorbals Street / Ballater St
  • Ballater St / Crown St
  • Saltmarket / Clyde Street
  • Saltmarket / Greendyke Street
  • London Road / James Morrison Street
  • Bell Street / Watson Street
  • Duke Street / Havannah Street
  • Stirling Road / Cathedral Street
  • Stirling Road / St James' Road
  • Baird Street / Pinkston Road
  • M8 Off Ramp / Canal St
  • Dobbies Loan / Craighall Road
  • Dobbies Loan / Port Dundas Road
  • Dobbies Loan / Garscube Road / Phoenix Road
  • St George's Road / Sauchiehall Street
  • Newton Street / Elmbank Crescent
  • Newton Street / St Vincent Street
  • Newton Street / William Street
  • Argyle Street / Newton Street /M8 Off Ramp
  • Broomielaw / Newton Street

Installation of LEZ signage at West Graham Street/M8 Ramp and Phoenix Rd / New City Rd will be undertaken by Transport Scotland.

You can see what the signs will look like below:

LEZ statutory signage at Clyde St (Dec 2022)

    Penalties

    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.

    • Set at national level by the Scottish Government for consistency across cities, the initial penalty charge for all non-compliant vehicles entering a LEZ in Scotland will be £60 - reduced by 50% if it is paid within 14 days.
    • A scheme surcharge means that the penalty amount will double with each subsequent breach of the rules detected in the same LEZ.
    • Penalty charges are capped at £480 for cars and light goods vehicles, and £960 for buses and HGVs.  Where there are no further breaches of the rules detected within the 90 days following a previous violation, the surcharge rate is reset to the base tier of charge which is £60.

    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.

    Installing the LEZ

    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 advanced and expected to be complete by the end of 2022.

    Official signage for Scottish LEZs has been established at national level and confirmed with all LEZ cities. 

    Suitable signage locations have been determined, with signs to be installed in Glasgow and on the M8 motorway by December 2022.   

    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.

    Funding Support

    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:

    eBike Loan

    eBike Business Loan

    Used Electric Vehicle Loan

    Switched On Taxis Loan

    Low Carbon Transport Business Loan

    Active/Sustainable Travel Options

    Active Travel

    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:

     

    Public Transport

    Glasgow has a comprehensive public transport system which can be used as an alternative to the car.

    Find out more from SPTScotRail and Traveline Scotland.

     

    Car Sharing

    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.

    Co Wheels 1

    FREE Eco Stars Scheme - Helping Businesses Reduce Emissions

    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.

    Case Studies:

    Read the case studies below to see how Eco Stars can help your business or organisation:

    Improving Glasgow's Air Quality

    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. 

    Other initiatives such as electric vehicle charge points, car clubs and a cycle hire scheme also help to promote sustainable and low emission transport options.

    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.

    LEZ Animation

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