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Glasgow's Low Emission Zone - what you need to know

In a bid to battle climate change, the Scottish Government want to promote clean air in towns and cities across the country.

The second phase of Glasgow's LEZ will be enforced from 1st June 2023

The second phase of Glasgow's LEZ will be enforced from 1st June 2023

Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will soon come into force as the Scottish Government aims to address the higher levels of pollution in the city.

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

In a bid to battle climate change, the Scottish Government want to promote clean air in towns and cities across the country.

They believe supporting more sustainable and active travel will help Scotland meet its target of reaching net zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2045.

What is a Low Emission Zone or Ultra-low Emission Zones?

More commonly known as LEZs, Low Emission Zones, or Ultra Low Emissions Zones (ULEZ), set vehicle emission standards on certain road spaces.

Older, more polluting vehicles that do not meet the proposed minimum emission standards, will face a fine if they enter an LEZ when enforcement begins.

Why are Low Emission Zones being introduced in the UK?

The overall aim is to try and improve air quality. In turn, this will help improve people’s quality of life as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to helping air quality, the introduction of LEZs hopes to 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 city centres.

When will a Low Emission Zone be introduced to Glasgow?

The first phase of Glasgow's LEZ was introduced on 31st December 2018, but only affected local bus services.

The second phase will be enforced from 1st June 2023 and expand the scope of Glasgow's LEZ, affecting all vehicles driving into the city centre zone, including private cars.

The third, and final phase, is marked for 1st June 2024 where enforcement for vehicles registered to a residential property within the zone area will begin.

Where is Glasgow's Low Emission Zone?

Glasgow's LEZ covers an area of the city centre bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, from the River Clyde to the south and Saltmarket/High Street to the east.

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

Which vehicles will be affected by Low Emission Zones?

You don’t need an electric car to drive in a LEZ. For each LEZ/ULEZ/CAZ, the local authority dictates what level of restrictions are to be applied.

For Scotland, the proposed LEZ emission standards, which meet the Euro emission standards, are as follows:

  • Euro 4 for petrol cars and vans (generally vehicles registered from 2006)
  • Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans (generally vehicles registered from September 2015)
  • Euro VI for buses, coaches and HGVs (generally vehicles registered from January 2013)

Anything older than the above may be affected. However, remember that these dates are only indicative - please check to confirm with your vehicle manual or the manufacturer.

Are there any exemptions to Low Emission Zones?

At the moment, zone residents have extra time to comply before they will face penalty charges.

The LEZ applies to all vehicles entering the zone, except those entitled to an exemption. This includes blue badge holders and those vehicles unaffected by LEZ requirements including motorcycles and mopeds.

Emergency vehicles, naval, military or Air Force vehicles as well as historic vehicles and Showman’s vehicles are also exempt.

And, of course, fully electric vehicles comply with LEZ requirements.

How much is the Low Emission Zone charge?

The initial penalty charge for all non-compliant vehicles entering a Low Emission Zone in Scotland will be £60. However, this fee can be reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days.

Penalty rates double for repeated entries up to a maximum of £480 for cars and £960 for buses and HGVs.

Find out more

To find out more about LEZ or for information about making the switch to an electric vehicle, then visit the Arnold Clark Innovation Centre in Glasgow.

Plus, until 30th June 2023, Arnold Clark is giving away a free home charger and installation worth £929 with every pre-reg or used electric vehicle – so it’s a great time to visit and ask us any questions!

About the Author

Fraser Glen