Glasgow taxi drivers rush for low emission zone exemptions

Ahead of the introduction of Phase 2 of the Glasgow Low Emission Zone, which comes into effect on 1st June, more than 250 taxi drivers have applied for exemption.

When Phase 2 was announced in 2019 it applied to all non-compliant vehicles driving into the city centre, the only exceptions being blue-badge holders, emergency vehicles, armed forces vehicles, historic vehicles, showman’s vehicles and motorcycles and mopeds.


blue car parked in front of brown building

People living within the LEZ boundary were given a year’s grace but the fact that taxis were not initially given such an extension angered the taxi driver community. Grants were made available for retrofitting but many older cabs were not capable of being retrofitted to Euro 6 standard and the retrofitting was being undertaken by a single company based 240 miles from Glasgow. 

In calling for the entire scheme to be postponed The Glasgow Unite Union Cab Section stated that the LEZ as it stands would effectively ‘fire’ more than 1,000 drivers from the city centre.

In March dozens of taxi drivers protested by parking up in George Square outside the City Chambers prior to a council meeting at which the possibility of a postponement was to be discussed. Ultimately the idea of a postponement was rejected but Steven Grant, branch secretary, of Unite the union cab section came out of the meeting saying that there had been a verbal agreement that if taxi drivers committed to retrofitting their vehicles, they would qualify for a year’s exemption.

A couple of days later, The Glasgow Cab Section’s Facebook page announced: ‘The Union has achieved the objective of a 12 month time-limited exemption for all operators.

‘An online form is now live to apply for an exemption, depending on an operators particular set of circumstances. Please be aware that those with no retrofit solution must also apply via the online form.’

The application form on the Glasgow City website lists seven factors that would allow a taxi driver to claim exemption. These include:
  • The registered taxi does not have an accredited retrofit option available from the CVRAS scheme.
  • An application or registration of interest to the LEZ Retrofit Fund has been made but not yet awarded.
  • An application to the LEZ Retrofit Fund has been rejected.

More than 250 drivers have applied for exemption since the application form was published.


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