GLASGOW council bosses have been branded “hypocrites” after it was revealed more than a third of their vehicles do not comply with controversial Low Emission Zone (LEZ) regulations.
Glasgow City Council’s controversial eco-scheme was introduced on June 1 to stop older and more polluting engines from entering the city center in a bid to improve air quality and reduce emissions.
Non-compliant vehicles automatically receive a fine notice (PCN) if they are captured by video surveillance entering the low emission zone.
However, data obtained through Freedom of Information requests is not permitted The Herald on Sunday show that almost 600 of the council’s vehicle fleet do not meet the strict standards for driving within the LEZ.
The local government currently manages 1,592 vehicles – only 995 of which comply with its own strict driving rules.
The remaining 597 engines cannot be used without being fined for entering the low emission zone.
The authority said not all of its vehicles would be required to enter the zone – and stressed they would be replaced in due course as part of longer-term plans.
Scottish Conservative transport secretary Graham Simpson accused the SNP minority council of operating at the “peak of hypocrisy” in rolling out the policy during the cost of living crisis.
He added: “They have forced this rule on hard-pressed motorists but haven’t bothered to get their own house in order.”
“The public will be astonished that almost 600 – more than a third – of the municipality’s vehicles fall within its own environmental zone.
“It is all too typical of the arrogance of SNP-Green politicians not to implement what they demand of others.
“The SNP-led city council has introduced unworkable policies to the detriment of Glasgow residents and businesses without first doing its own internal homework.”
A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “Only a limited number of vehicles in the council’s fleet are required to enter the low emission zone in the city center and those that do are expected to meet emissions standards.”
“New LEZ compliant vehicles have been delivered to the council’s fleet and we have undertaken a vehicle retrofit program where appropriate to meet the required standards.”
Thousands of motorists have been trapped by new driving rules in Glasgow. Fines totaling around £531,000 were issued in the first two months.
Previously, a Freedom of Information request revealed the local authority had amassed over £100,000 of taxpayers’ money to hire LEZ-compliant vehicles for council staff.
Between June 12 and July 14, Glasgow City Council invoiced the taxpayer for 131 cars, trucks and vans that were supposed to do the work of its own fleet and “failed to meet LEZ standards”.
The whopping £95,343 bill included the cost of renting 52 Ford Transits and 22 Vauxhall Corsas.
The city administration also rented two eight-tonne DAF trucks, a “cherry picker” from Skyking and a refrigerated van from Mercedes.
A further £3,585 was spent on livery hire between June 1 and 12.
The LEZ was introduced to reduce pollution, particularly from buses, trucks and older cars.
Diesel vehicles registered before 2015 and petrol vehicles registered before 2006 are not allowed to drive within the LEZ.
ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) cameras track cars entering the zone.
From the start of June, drivers of banned vehicles entering Glasgow city center were fined almost 100 a day, for a total of 2,922.
We previously reported how businesses stuck on the edge of Glasgow’s controversial low emission zone fear for their future after losing more than half their footfall since tough new driving rules were introduced three months ago.
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