Glasgow Central Station in the City Centre

Source: Microsoft Stock Images

By Julie McElroy

Glasgow is a month away from introducing its Low Emission Zone in and around the city centre. All vehicles will be affected and will be subjected to penalties if they fail to comply.

Glasgow alongside other Scottish cities including Edinburgh, Dundee, and Aberdeen has been working to install its LEZ by 2023 in an effort to introduce Air Quality Management Areas as part of the government’s targets within the National Low Emission Framework (NLEF) appraisals.

Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone will come into effect on June 1, 2023. If a non-compliant vehicle is located in the city centre’s LEZ after this date, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) shall be issued to the registration keeper of that vehicle.

LEZ stands for Low Emission Zone, it is a policy meant for cities across the world to improve air quality. Diesel engine cars registered after September 2015 and petrol vehicles registered after 2006 will generally meet the required LEZ criteria. Motor owners are being advised to use Transport Scotland’s vehicle registration checker to find out if their car meets LEZ emission criteria.

LEZ will be enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year (including public holidays like Christmas and Boxing Day.) To monitor all vehicles travelling in the LEZ, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras are linked to municipal and national vehicle licensing databases. They will detect vehicles that do not meet emission regulations.

According to the plans, all vehicles visiting the city centre area will face penalty fees if their emissions standards do not match the lower-polluting emission criteria. All non-compliant vehicles accessing Low Emission Zones in Scotland are subject to a £60 fine at first. If paid upfront within 14 days, its cost is reduced by 50%. Meanwhile, penalty rates double for multiple entry, with a maximum fine of £480 for automobiles and £960 for buses and HGVs.

Over the last year, Glasgow has been preparing to bring LEZ to the city by installing road signs throughout the city, advising drivers of LEZ roads and suggesting other routes if their vehicle does not match the criteria. According to a Glasgow City Council spokesperson, despite recent improvements in air quality, “harmful nitrogen dioxide is being recorded in our city centre at levels that do not meet the legal requirements.”

The impact of the LEZ could affect disabled people commuting into the city centre. However, Glasgow City Council have said disabled people can apply for exemption. Exemptions for Blue Badge holders are available through Transport Scotland’s LEZ exemption scheme.

The zone boundaries cover the city centre by the M8 motorway, covering north, west and To the south of the River Clyde, while to the east is Saltmarket and the High Street. 

(Source: Glasgow City Council)

More information on certain roads and streets affected by Glasgow’s LEZ can be found below:

LEZ in Glasgow – Interactive Map

LEZ in Glasgow – by street or road name

Technical border map for Glasgow’s LEZ

For residents who own their vehicles within the zone, the enforcement of the LEZ will be introduced on 1st June 2024 instead.

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