Glasgow Greens Welcome Strengthening of Low Emission Zone Plans
Proposals for Glasgow’s coming Low Emission Zone (LEZ) - the first in Scotland - were considered today by Glasgow City Council’s Environment, Sustainability and Carbon Reduction Policy Development Committee. The committee voted to accept an amendment brought by Labour and seconded by the Greens to bring the full implementation of the LEZ for all eligible vehicles forward to 2021, and to include enforcement measures against bus operators for not meeting interim targets from December 2018.
The original plans had been derided by campaign groups including British Lung Foundation Scotland and Friends of the Earth Scotland, who said the council had “no ambition”. The successful amendment means that proposals will now go to the Council's City Administration Committee with a mandate for faster and more wide-ranging action to improve air quality in central Glasgow.
Introducing a Low Emission Zone for Glasgow is a long-standing Green manifesto commitment, and Greens have been pressuring Glasgow City Council to move forward with plans for some years now.
Green councillor for Hillhead, Martha Wardrop, who is vice convenor of the committee, said:
“We are pleased that the committee accepted these proposals to set a course for a more ambitious Low Emissions Zone. It’s disappointing that the minority SNP administration decided that we have to wait 5 years for cleaner air that we can breathe safely, and we are glad that other opposition parties agreed with us that faster and more wide ranging action is needed.
“Once again, Greens are leading the change and working to improve the lives of ordinary people.
“We expect now that plans for extending the zone to cars, vans and taxis will be ambitious enough for us to accept. However, Greens will be carefully scrutinising those proposals for the second phase of the LEZ to ensure that they are not watered down, and that they can truly deliver clean air for all Glaswegians.
“It’s important that alongside penalties for bringing polluting vehicles into the city centre, people are given genuine alternatives, and so my Green colleagues and I will be working to ensure investment into making sustainable transport more affordable and accessible, including the rollout of smart ticketing, getting the long overdue Crossrail link off the ground and building more protected cycle lanes.”