Nearly 3,000 drivers fined for breaching low emission zone

Bus sitting in Glasgow traffic

BBC Scotland News is reporting that 3,000 drivers were fined for breaching Glasgow’s low emission zone (LEZ) in the first month of its operation, new figures show.

Glasgow City Council reported that 2,922 penalty charge notices were issued in June.

The LEZ was brought in to try to tackle air pollution in the city centre.

It covers an area from the M8 motorway to the north and west of Glasgow, the River Clyde to the south, and the Saltmarket/High Street to the east.

Non-compliant cars and light goods vehicles faced fines of up to £480 per day for repeated breaches of the new rules, with penalties of up to £960 for buses and HGVs.

However, the council said no vehicle had received more than one penalty charge notice in June “to allow for a period of familiarisation”. Surcharging has now been introduced, it added.

A council spokeswoman said: “Surcharging, which allows the penalty amount to double for subsequent LEZ breaches, started in July and will begin after the first charge notice can be expected to have been received by the vehicle’s registered keeper.

“While up to 90% of vehicles currently entering the city centre will be unaffected, LEZ standards will address the most polluting vehicles which are disproportionately creating the harmful concentrations of air pollution in the city centre,” she added.

LEZ map

The zone, which operates 24 hours a day and all-year round, was conceived to tackle poor air quality, with many streets in Scotland regularly reaching harmful and illegal levels.

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What are the penalties?

Glasgow LEZ sign

Any non-compliant vehicle detected within the low emission zone initially faces a fine of £60.

As of 1 July, the penalty charge doubles with each subsequent breach, rising to a maximum of £480 for cars and light goods vehicles and £960 for buses and HGVs.

Once that figure is reached, the maximum fine will be imposed for each day that the vehicle enters the zone.

The rate is reset to £60 if there are no breaches for 90 days.

All penalties will be reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days.

Exemptions are available for blue badge holders, motorbikes, mopeds and emergency vehicles.

But in general petrol cars made before 2005 and diesels built before September 2014 are not allowed in the zone.

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Some businesses have taken issue with the new regulations.

A legal challenge against the zone was thrown out by a judge shortly before the LEZ’s launch.

Patons Accident Repair Centre had accused Glasgow City Council of not consulting properly and putting businesses at risk.

But a judge at the Court of Session refused the motion.

Another firm said in April it faced tens of thousands of pounds in penalties as it would not be ready in time to comply with the new rules.

Last month it emerged that Glasgow City Council was having to hire vehicles because some of its own fleet did not meet the new rules on emissions.

The local authority revealed that more than 600 of its vehicles were no longer allowed inside the LEZ.

The council’s fleet includes a variety of cars, buses, lorries and vans used by to carry out various aspects of council business.

West Dunbartonshire Council refuse to comment on whether any of their vehicles passing through Glasgow would fail to meet new rules on emissions.

One comment

  1. £180,000 fines in first month. Not bad loot. That’s over £20 million a year. God bless the hapless motorists stumping up for Scotland.

    Me I’ve a sixteen month TV just out of warranty uthat I want to get repaired. Shop in the Gallogate will fix at around £80.00.

    With LEZ can no longer drive into city. So I’ll scrap the TV instead. Feed the waste.

    Save the planet. That’s a laugh.

    That’s cheaper tjan buying a new TV.

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