A FAMILY business which lost a legal bid to stop the operation of Glasgow City Council’s low emissions zone has launched an appeal to overturn the decision.

Lawyers for John Paton and Sons Ltd want Scotland’s highest civil court to stop the LEZ from operating in the city.

They have raised an appeal at the Court of Session’s Inner House as the firm believes the local authority’s scheme is “illegal” and “draconian” and should be stopped.

Earlier this year, advocate Lord Davidson of Glen Clova KC told Lady Poole that the local authority had failed to follow established legal tests before making its decision to introduce the LEZ, which covers Glasgow city centre.

Glasgow Times: William PatonWilliam Paton (Image: Gordon Terris)

The second phase of the scheme - which started operating in June 2023 - aims to improve air quality in Glasgow city centre by limiting what vehicles can enter the area.

Cars, lorries and other forms of transportation which do not meet emission guidelines are not allowed and drivers who break the regulations can be fined.

Lord Davidson said that available data showed that air quality in the city centre had been improving in recent years and that this trend was set to continue.

He said the information showed that there was no need for an LEZ to be introduced in Glasgow.

Lord Davidson said that Glasgow City Council’s decision to implement the scheme in the light of this available information was unlawful.

Lawyers for the council and Scottish Government told the court that the scheme was lawful and introduced with the purpose of improving public health.

They urged Lady Poole to reject the challenge.

The judge upheld the submissions made to her by the local authority and Scottish Ministers.

Now civil appeal judges will consider the case in the new year.

The judicial review was brought to the Court of Session by a firm that operates an accident repair centre in the city’s Townhead district.

Glasgow Times: William Paton

The company’s director William Paton has previously spoken of how he commissioned a report by the Hilson Moran Institute to study the impact of the first phase of the LEZ for buses in the city centre which came into force in 2018.

The report found that air quality aims were achieved in phase one and the second phase impacting other vehicles would not lead to any further improvement in air quality.

Speaking earlier this year, Mr Paton said: "There's evidence here to show that the public will be massively disaffected by this. Massively.”

Other critics of the scheme say the LEZ will have a detrimental impact on Glasgow’s economy.

The drummer with top Scots rock band Gun, Paul McManus, has contributed £100,000 to a campaign which wants the scheme halted.

Mr McManus, who has also made financial donations to the Labour Party, said he wanted to get involved as he feels it will hit poorer people hardest.

In the judgement published earlier this year, Lady Poole wrote that the local authority had acted in line with information which had provided to them with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

She also wrote and the decision to operate the SEPA was in line with legal requirements to improve air quality and public health.

Lady Poole wrote: “The information entitled GCC to conclude the LEZ would contribute towards meeting the air quality objectives.”

A procedural hearing in the appeal will be heard on March 5 2024.