By Bill Heaney
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has issued a public reassurance ahead of Glasgow City Council implementing the City Centre Low Emission Zone (LEZ) later this week.
The LEZ will come into force on 1st June, in an attempt to improve air quality within the city centre. The zone covers an area bounded by the M8 to the north and west, the River Clyde to the south and High Street / Castle Street to the east.
In recent weeks, there have been some expressions of concern on social media and elsewhere that the introduction of the LEZ will affect access to NHSGGC hospitals and in particular its A&E departments.
However, with the exception of the Dental Hospital, which is in Sauchiehall Street, none of NHSGGC’s main hospitals – and none of their A&E departments – lies within the area which will be covered by the LEZ.
While Glasgow Royal Infirmary lies right on the boundary of the LEZ, it is outside the restricted zone, which means that none of the services provided there will be affected by the new arrangements.
Many patients, visitors and staff currently access the Infirmary by driving through the city centre, and the new rules may cause some inconvenience for anybody whose vehicle is affected by the new LEZ restrictions.
In addition, as well as the Dental Hospital, a number of GP practices, dental surgeries and other healthcare settings lie within the LEZ.
If you are affected by the new arrangements – whether that’s the route you take to the various healthcare sites, or where you park – NHSGGC has developed guidance to make access as easy as possible by taking a little time to plan alternative routes and parking arrangements, or consider alternative modes of transport.
For more information on the LEZ arrangements and whether your vehicle is affected, please go to glasgow.gov.uk/LEZ