Scotland’s first minister has announced that work is underway to implement the country’s first low emission zone (LEZ) – which could include private cars – in Glasgow by 2018.
Nicola Sturgeon made the announcement while speaking at the Scottish National Party conference in the city on Tuesday.
Glasgow has repeatedly been found to breach EU limits for legal air pollution. LEZs introduce charges for vehicles that do not meet engine emissions standards.
Glasgow City Council is partnering with the Scottish Government to prepare the LEZ design and proposals, with the aim of improving air quality in the city. The final design will be informed by principles that are being developed through a Transport Scotland consultation on LEZs.
Preparation for the Glasgow LEZ is underway with a LEZ Leadership Group and associated Glasgow LEZ Delivery Group already set up.
Transport minister Humza Yousaf said: ‘We can be proud of the progress we’ve made in tackling air pollution, but our biggest cities, like Glasgow, are determined to create the best possible environment for communities to flourish by improving air quality. I’m delighted that Glasgow is working to have their LEZ in place by the end of 2018.
‘We have pledged to work with local authorities to introduce low emission zones in Scotland’s four biggest cities by 2020 and this is a positive step towards that vision. This is a decision based on the scientific evidence which demonstrates the link between air pollution and ill health.
‘Our position is that local authorities should be ambitious, and that all vehicles including private cars should be included in a LEZ in a phased manner.’
He added: ‘Equally, low emission buses are at the heart of improving air quality and the bus sector has a key role to play. I’m proud that the Scottish Green Bus fund has already provided more than £16m to support the introduction of hundreds of low emission buses.
‘Today, we have again demonstrated our commitment to the bus industry through the announcement that we are providing a further £1.6m immediately to a Bus Retrofit Programme for Scotland.’