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Glasgow City Council

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

Glasgow's Low Emission Zone (LEZ) came into force on 1 June 2023.

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

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

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

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

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

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 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
  • increase the safety, attractiveness, and amenity of our city centre

How Glasgow's LEZ works

Glasgow's LEZ: 

  • commenced enforcement on 1 June 2023
  • applies to all vehicles entering the zone, unless exempt
  • operates continuously, 24 hours a day, all year round
  • 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
  • identifies non-compliant vehicles entering the zone by using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras

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) came into force on 1 June 2023
  • Enforcement for vehicles registered to a residential property within the zone area will start on 1 June 2024 (see section below on Zone Residents for more details)

Zone Boundary

Glasgow's LEZ is approximately one square mile in size.

It 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.  

The M8 motorway is not included within Glasgow's LEZ.

LEZ map (STV version)

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

Emission standards/Vehicle Registration Checker

Petrol/Diesel Vehicles:

Emission standards for LEZs in Scotland have been set in leglislation at national level - 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

These standards were publicly consulted on in 2018 and 2019/20 and confirmed through the Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 and subsequent regulations. They are consistent with similar schemes across the UK and Europe.

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. Buses and HGVs from 2013 onwards also generally meet the Euro 6 standard.

Use the Transport Scotland's vehicle registration checker to see if your vehicle will comply.

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.

Exemptions

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 below: 

1. Vehicles for Disabled Persons:

There are several exemptions which cover vehicles being used for the purposes of disabled persons, as outlined in the following circumstances:

  • A vehicle registered with a 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicles' tax class.
  • A vehicle receiving a reduction in annual rate of vehicle excise duty because the vehicle is being used by a disabled person in receipt of personal independence payment at the standard rate.
  • Blue Badge holders

There are several exemptions which cover vehicles being used for the purposes of disabled persons, as outlined in the following circumstances:

  • A vehicle registered with a 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicles' tax class.
  • A vehicle receiving a reduction in annual rate of vehicle excise duty because the vehicle is being used by a disabled person in receipt of personal independence payment at the standard rate.
  • A vehicle carrying a Blue Badge holder, including:
    • A vehicle being driven by any person who is in receipt of a Blue Badge.
    • A passenger in the vehicle who has been issued with a Blue Badge.
    • A vehicle being driven with a Blue Badge which has been issued to an organisation.

Blue Badge holders who require exemptions can register their details on Transport Scotland's LEZ exemption system.

2. 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

3. Naval, Military or Air Force Vehicles:

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

4. 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.

5. 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.

Time-Limited (Temporary) Exemptions

Glasgow's LEZ scheme allows for applications for a time-limited (temporary) exemption under circumstances where entry of a non-compliant vehicle is required for a specific, defined purpose not considered in legislation or regulations.

Please note that private vehicles will not be considered for time-limited exemptions.

Applications will be determined on their individual merits. Examples of this may be but are not limited to:

  • abnormal loads or machinery transport
  • historic vehicles or vehicles of particular speciality not covered by other exemptions and used for a specific purpose
  • any other non-compliant vehicle use deemed appropriate on application to the council

Applications for time-limited exemptions will not normally be considered for the routine transport of people or goods or for routine commercial operations. However, the council may apply a time-limited exemption, by reference to the vehicle's use, upon consideration of an application.

It is expected that any exemptions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances and where the organisation applying can clearly demonstrate that timely efforts are being made to comply with LEZ requirements.

Time-limited exemptions can be granted for up to a year and may be subject to conditions or restrictions as deemed appropriate by the council.

The application form is available by clicking on this link.

Public Hire Taxi Operators:

There is a separate application process for public hire taxi operators who require a time-limited exemption. The online application form can be accessed by clicking on this link.

Temporary Suspension of the LEZ

The council can temporarily suspend the zone (in full or in part) 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

A grace period for zone residents' means that vehicles registered to a residential property within the zone area have until 1 June 2024 to meet LEZ requirements.

The grace period is not applied automatically - residents who require the benefit of the grace period should click on this link for more information. A letter was sent out to residents in May 2023 to highlight this requirement:

word icon LEZ residents letter - May 2023 [146kb]

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:  

LEZ map (STV version)

A full list of streets/roads eligible for the residents' grace period can be viewed by clicking on this link.

Operation and Enforcement

As emissions at all times contribute towards the levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide in our city centre, Glasgow's LEZ is in operation continuously.

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras linked to a national vehicle licencing database will monitor vehicles driving into Glasgow's Low Emission Zone. 

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 was erected at all entry points into the LEZ at the end of 2022 - with supplementary on-road markings also applied at suitable locations. 

Transport Scotland installed signage on the M8 so that those exiting the motorway for the city centre are aware of the zone area. 

LEZ signage:

LEZ statutory signage at Clyde St (Dec 2022)

LEZ roadmarkings:

LEZ road markings

    Penalties

    You cannot pay to enter a LEZ.

    If a non-compliant vehicle is detected in Glasgow's LEZ, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued to the registered keeper of that vehicle.

    A maximum of one PCN will be issued to the vehicle's registered keeper for breaching LEZ rules in any one day.

    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 is £60.

    A scheme surcharge however means that the penalty charge amount will double with each subsequent breach of the rules by the same vehicle detected in the same LEZ.

    Surcharging will only start however after the first PCN (issued at the initial base tier of £60) can be expected to have been received by the vehicle's registered keeper.  

    Penalty charge rates are capped at £480 for cars and light goods vehicles, and £960 for buses 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.

    All PCNs will be reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days.

    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.

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

    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.

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