A private hire driver has been suspended after he failed to make his vehicle compliant with Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone – despite saying he didn’t ‘have the funds’.

The city’s licensing committee was told by an enforcement officer how Muhammad Raees’ car didn’t comply with LEZ rules.

Cllr Alex Wilson, SNP, the licensing committee chairman, said he had “total sympathy” with the driver.

Enforcement of the LEZ began in June and, generally, diesel engine vehicles registered after September 2015 and petrol vehicles registered from 2006 onwards will meet the required LEZ standards.

The driver told councillors: “At the moment I need more time to buy a new car, I don’t have the funds.”

He said he had contacted the council to ask for more time, adding he would need six months to become compliant. 

Responding to questions from Cllr Wilson, the driver said his car doesn’t fall under any exemption categories and cannot be retrofitted. The committee agreed to suspend the licensing with immediate effect. 

Cllr Wilson said: “The suspension can be lifted once you are LEZ compliant. If anything, I’ve got total sympathy for you, Mr Raees, I honestly do. 

“It’s one of these things, you have to be compliant. You have to be able to pick up passengers anywhere in Glasgow and your car has to come into the LEZ.”

Almost 3,000 fines were issued to drivers in the first month of enforcement. They are set at £60 — reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days.

A “period of familiarisation” meant drivers only received one fine in June, but surcharging has now been introduced, meaning the fine doubles for each subsequent LEZ breach.

Fines can increase up to a maximum of £480 for cars and £960 for buses and HGVs.