Green Light for Glasgow's New Low Emission Zone

You might have seen the signs popping up around Glasgow city centre recently – Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone is going live on the 1st of June this year. But do you know what it’s all about?

What is a Low Emission Zone?

Low Emission Zones (LEZs) are being enforced in cities across Scotland to reduce the level of air pollution in parts of the built-up urban areas. These zones restrict the type of traffic that can drive within by issuing penalties to vehicles that drive in the zone. The LEZ in Glasgow is already in place for buses, but this is the first time that other higher-polluting vehicles will be restricted. Cars driving within the zone will be monitored using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR), and if your vehicle doesn’t meet the correct standards, you’ll find yourself in receipt of a fine.

Where is Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone?

Glasgow’s zone covers most of the city centre, and is contained by the M8 motorway to the west and north, Saltmarket to the east and the River Clyde to the south. Vehicles travelling on the M8 are not included in Glasgow’s LEZ, so will not be subject to any penalties.

Which cars will be banned from driving in the Low Emission Zone?

Vehicles not permitted to travel within the LEZ are those who do not meet the requirements specified. The criteria that your vehicle needs to meet to be granted access is

  • Euro 4 for petrol cars and vans
  • Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans
  • Euro VI for buses, coaches and HGVs

You can easily check if your vehicle is permitted to travel within the LEZ by entering your vehicle registration number into the vehicle checker section of the official site. The vehicle checker can only be used to check vehicles that have been registered within the UK.

What is the penalty for driving in a Low Emission Zone?

If your vehicle doesn’t meet the emission standards outlined above, and you drive within a Low Emission Zone, you will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). You may have heard of a PCN before – that’s the official name for a parking ticket. You can be issued a PCN if you breach parking and other traffic regulations in Scotland.

If you receive a PCN for driving in a Low Emission Zone, you will be issued with an initial fine of £60. This will be reduced to £30 if you pay the fine within two weeks. After your first offence, the penalty will double each time you drive your vehicle in the Low Emission Zone.

There are some vehicles which have permission to move within the Low Emission Zone, and are exempt from paying the penalty. These exemptions include emergency services vehicles, Blue Badge holders and military vehicles. For the full list of exempt vehicles, you can visit Scotland’s official Low Emission Zone site.

When is the Low Emission Zone being enforced?

Glasgow’s LEZ is to be enforced from Thursday 1st of June 2023. If you are a resident within the zone, enforcement will begin on the 1st of June 2024. Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh will be enforcing their LEZs in 2024 too, so don’t forget to check your vehicle’s emission rating before making trips to these city centres.