A funding boost from the Scottish Government has seen investment in projects that support Glasgow's Low Emission Zone - a key initiative introduced in 2018 to protect public health by reducing levels of air pollution from road traffic.
The grant award of £1.15m which was approved for acceptance by the council earlier this year, has funded or enhanced a variety of initiatives that promote and support sustainable transport uptake across our city, as well as reducing congestion.
Just one of the projects that has benefitted from the Public Transport Provision (PTP) funding is Co-wheels Car Club Glasgow which currently has over 2,000 members. The hugely popular, pay-as-you-go car hire scheme, offers a range of vehicle types, available to book for as little as one hour. Vehicles are conveniently located in reserved on-street parking bays across the city and are available to hire on a 24/7 basis.
PTP funding has enabled the council to replace eight Co-wheels Car Club Glasgow vehicles within the city centre LEZ zone with zero emission alternatives, ensuring that all car club locations within the LEZ are fully electric.
To support the additional fully electric vehicles available to hire, the grant award has also funded the installation of dual sided electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment. This will directly increase the number of charging points available to the public by offering recharging capability from the parking bay adjacent to the one reserved for car club EVs. These bays can be found on:
Cllr Anna Richardson, Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said "This Scottish Government funding which has been used across a variety of projects, will help us to further promote and support sustainable transport uptake across our city, as well as reducing congestion. Increased numbers of zero emission vehicles available to hire, combined with the installation of extra publically accessible EV charging points, will make a vital contribution towards our commitment to prioritise sustainable transport in Glasgow."
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity Michael Matheson said: "I'm pleased we can offer this additional funding to Glasgow City Council to support cleaner transport options in the city. Low Emission Zones protect public health by improving air quality. By funding the replacement of conventional car sharing vehicles with zero-emission electric vehicles, we will directly support the objective of Glasgow's Low Emission Zone and help respond to the climate emergency."
Richard Falconer of Co-Wheels said; "We are really excited to be getting more and more involved with the great work happening in Glasgow. Glasgow residents will be able to enjoy a range of fully electric zero emission vehicles including BMWi3's and Renault Zoe's and we are hopeful that the installation of new EV charging points across the city will encourage the use of more sustainable vehicles. Co-wheels was the first UK car club to introduce electric vehicles into its fleet and whilst we know that simply reducing the cars on our roads is the best solution for protecting the environment, we want to do everything we can to ensure the cars left on our roads are zero emissions. Even if you don't own an EV in Glasgow, you can still go ultra-low."
Other projects that have been taken forward through PTP funding include the development and expansion of the nextbike cycle hire scheme at six new locations and the upgrade of junctions at Hurlet Cross and Bearsden Road (at Ilay Avenue) to allow them to run 'MOVA control', an adaptive traffic control system which reduces congestion, and subsequently pollution.
Scotland's first Low Emission Zone came into effect in Glasgow city centre on 31 December 2018. A phased approach is being taken and to start with will only apply to local service buses. When the LEZ is fully implemented, all vehicles entering the zone will have to meet specified exhaust emission standards.