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Glasgow low emission zone must work for local economy

New details have emerged regarding the plans for a Glasgow low emission zone (LEZ) ahead of a council vote next week. Scotland's first LEZ will come into force at the end of 2018 and all vehicles will have to comply with strict emission standards by 2022.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland has warned that few Scottish firms are prepared for these new rules. The small business campaign group wants government support to help smaller businesses upgrade their vehicles. 

Further, the FSB wants the new vehicle rules to be carefully phased in and for vehicle standards to be the same in all of Scotland’s cities. Low emission zones are also planned for Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen. 

Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish policy convenor, said: “Clean air is important to everyone who lives and works in Glasgow, not least city-centre businesses. As a consequence, these proposals must be developed in partnership with local traders. 

“FSB believes that firms and residents must be given time to adapt – that’s why a phased approach is so important. Further, many businesses that operate in Glasgow city centre will also do work in Scotland’s other cities. Therefore Scotland-wide standards for low emission zones must be established.

“In a similar way to households, purchasing new vehicles is a huge investment for smaller businesses that they’ll look to recoup over a number of years. Glasgow City Council must shift gear when it comes to communicating these changes, and the Scottish Government should offer help for cash-strapped smaller firms.“