Only a quarter of Glasgow City Council’s uplifting vehicles are Low Emission Zone (LEZ) compliant, it has been revealed. 

The council has four uplift vehicles in their fleet, but only one is compliant with LEZ rules. 

Glasgow City Council introduced the LEZ on June 1, 2023 in a bid to reduce levels of harmful vehicle emissions in the city centre. 

The council have said that not all vehicles are required to service the LEZ areas. However, they added that work is underway to replace non-compliant council vehicles as part of their fleet strategy.

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A council spokesperson said: “Only a limited number of vehicles in the council fleet are required to enter the city centre Low Emission Zone.

“New, cleaner vehicles have previously been delivered into the council’s fleet in line with our planned fleet replacement programme and we have also undertaken a programme of vehicle retrofit where appropriate, to meet the required standards.

“Work is also underway to replace non-compliant vehicles, notwithstanding that they do not need to enter the LEZ, in line with the council’s fleet strategy

“We have one LEZ compliant uplift vehicle which is entirely proportionate given the zone area covers one square mile. If this vehicle is unavailable, an external contractor is authorised to uplift vehicles on our behalf.”

(Image: Image: Supplied)

It comes after we reported yesterday that Glasgow City Council has apologised after a car was abandoned on the taxi rank outside Central Station for four days.

A contractor had to be hired to remove the vehicle, which had first been ticketed on Friday morning, as the council’s only Low Emission Zone compliant uplifted was unavailable.

The car was eventually removed on Tuesday after the problem was flagged on social media.

The council later apologised for the delay.

(Image: Image of Calum Anderson)

Now, Calum Anderson, chairman of the Glasgow cab section for Unite the Union, has hit out at the council following the news. 

Speaking exclusively with the Glasgow Times, he said: "It’s absolute hypocrisy from the city fathers when vehicles in the council fleet are non-compliant, including vehicle recovery trucks as we’ve witnessed just this week."

It follows 296 taxis reportedly being taken off the road from June 1 as the deadline for the LEZ time-limited extension for taxi drivers came to an end.

(Image: Image of Michael Smith, taken by Newsquest photography)

Several drivers have lost their livelihoods as a result, including Michael Smith who has been a cabbie for the last 28 years.

The 59-year-old told the Glasgow Times last week: “I’m very sad but I’m very angry as well.

“I thought I would retire at 66 or 67, or I would die behind the wheel of my cab. I never imagined I would be leaving like this.

“Glasgow City Council have pushed us into a corner, and we have been treated like s***."

A council spokesperson added: "We have consistently encouraged eligible operators to take advantage of Scottish Government funding toward cleaner, new vehicles, or to retrofit existing vehicles - with £2.4m paid in retrofit grants since 2019 for taxis in our region. We also amended licensing conditions to expand the options available to operators of taxis which could not be retrofitted due to vehicle age.

“Eligible operators were also granted an exemption from the scheme’s first year of operation, and we will show further flexibilities beyond this point, but only for operators who can show they are actively taking steps to meet the cleaner LEZ standards.

“To equitably balance the health and environmental benefits of Glasgow’s LEZ, whilst continuing to support taxi operators, where an exemption is extended beyond the end of May, it will be for the shortest period possible.”