SPOTLIGHT: Glasgow's Low Emission zone will save lives

The Glasgow Low Emission zone will mean a cleaner, greener future for the city, writes Scottish Green councillor Jon Molyneux.

The introduction of Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will save lives and be a vital step towards a cleaner and greener future for the city.

From today, any non-exempt vehicles that do not meet required emissions standards will now be subject to a penalty charge each time they enter the advertised LEZ. 

The zone covers the city centre, bounded by the M8 to the north and west, the Clyde to the south, and the High Street and Saltmarket to the east. The daily charge will start at £60 and could rise to £480, escalating with each successive offence.

The move has long been argued for and supported by Scottish Green councillors. Glasgow is the first city in Scotland to introduce such a measure, with Edinburgh set to follow in 2024.

The Scottish Green MSP for Glasgow, Patrick Harvie, said:

“This is a big moment and a vital precedent. It will save lives. 

“The air pollution in our city has been unacceptably poor for decades, and that has had a profound and damaging impact. It has been a long time coming, but this is a big step towards a cleaner, greener future for Glasgow.”

Scottish Green Cllr Jon Molyneux said:

“Glasgow has made a long overdue step to cleaner, safer air, more than a decade after Scottish Greens started to raise the alarm over pollution levels. 

"The city’s Low Emission Zone will prioritise the health of thousands of Glaswegians who are at risk from toxic air, but we can and must go further. There is no safe level of pollution.

“City politicians who have opposed this modest LEZ need to have a word with themselves. The climate crisis will demand more radical action in the months and years ahead and that needs leadership, not unprincipled opportunism.”