Glasgow City Council yesterday published proposals for a Low Emission Zone, which will be discussed by its City Administration Committee next week (Thurs 28 September). Reacting to the proposals, Emilia Hanna, Air Pollution Campaigner for Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“We welcome Glasgow City Council’s strong proposal for a Low Emission Zone to tackle the city’s toxic air pollution. Low Emission Zones are a life saving intervention, proven to reduce harmful levels of emissions and Glasgow City Council is to be congratulated for bringing forward plans which will allow children to breathe cleaner air and live healthier futures.

“It is very welcome that the Council has publicly acknowledged that air pollution is responsible for 300 premature deaths each year in the city.

“The area that the City Council has proposed, which spans the city centre, is clearly the right choice, because this busy area, where many people live, work and relax in is a designated pollution zone which regularly experiences dangerous levels of pollution.

“Whilst the Council’s ambition to have an LEZ is welcome, it’s very disappointing that the plans would only restrict buses in the first instance. The Glasgow LEZ should apply to buses, lorries, and vans from the start and to include cars and taxis at a later stage. This would help ensure even bigger improvements for the health of Glaswegians.

Earlier this month, the Scottish Government committed to establishing LEZs in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, and Edinburgh by 2020, with the first Zone in place by 2018. Hanna continued:

“This report demonstrates that Glasgow is getting ready to host Scotland’s first LEZ. The Scottish Government should confirm that the location of its 2018 LEZ will be Glasgow, and put funding in place to support the Council in their delivery of this vital scheme.”

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

  1. Guide to Low Emission Zones:  https://foe.scot/campaign/air-pollution/what-is-a-lez/
  2. The Council’s LEZ report can be found here: http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/councillorsandcommittees/submissiondocuments.asp?submissionid=85137
  3. Levels of air pollution across several parts of Scotland continue to break European legal limits and Scottish standards years after a legal deadline: https://foe.scot/press-release/scotland-s-most-polluted-streets-revealed-5-new-pollution-zones-declared/ Glasgow has been named in several legal actions for failing to comply with EU limits on air quality.
  4. The 2017/18 Programme for Government can be found at http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/09/8468
  5. Exposure to fine particle air pollution (PM2.5) causes over 300 early deaths in Glasgow each year, and over 2000 early deaths across Scotland according to Public Health England: see Table 3, p 20: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/estimates-of-mortality-in-local-authority-areas-associated-with-air-pollution
  6. Glasgow SNP’s manifesto commitments on transport can be found at https://snpforglasgow.scot/manifesto/transport/. They have promised to establish a Low Emission Zone in the city.
  7.  Friends of the Earth Scotland is:

* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation

* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland

* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 75 national member groups, and 5,000 local activist groups.