IN Edinburgh, the Meanies are blue. In Glasgow, they are green. Or will be.

At first glance, traffic and parking enforcement officers might not look like eco-warriors.

But city authorities on the Clyde are increasingly seeing traffic wardens as a tool to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.

Glasgow has given itself just over a decade to get to zero net carbon as it races with other UK cities – including the Scottish capital – to do so.

Like much of the rest of Scotland, Glaswegians are already injecting much less carbon in to the atmosphere, less than five tonnes each a year.

Reductions have come with barely any cost or inconvenience: we flick a switch and the light goes on; whether it is powered by wind rather than glass is immaterial.

But as the city and the country move in to the final stretch of de-carbonisation, Scots are going to have to change their habits, especially how they heat their homes and how they get about.

And that is where the Green Meanies come in. The working group set up by the City Council has recommended a substantial increase in enforcement of idling and illegal parking – and for funds to be released to finance this.

Money here is important. Contrary to public perception local authorities can lose a lot of money fining bad drivers. That is because the fines are small and the costs of enforcing and collecting them high.

The working group’s report – published last month – said: “Progress in reducing the city’s emissions has been made rather unevenly across sectors. Emissions from transport are barely reducing at all.

“De-carbonising heat and transport in particular are going to be the principal challenges for the city on a local basis if greater progress is to be made.”

Some motorists already think there is a war on cars. Well, they ain’t seen nothing yet.

The working group has come up with a series of recommendations to make it hard to drive in the city. Cars and trucks will be squeezed out. They said: “Where necessary, that space currently dominated by the private car is re-prioritised to provide a fairer transport system.”

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So how will this squeeze take place? Well, for starters the working group want to set in place “a process and timescale.... for consulting on a potentially expanded geographical area for the LEZ”.

The LEZ is a low-emissions zone, which was introduced at the end of last year. So far it only applies to buses. By 2022 any vehicles entering will have to meet strict emissions standards.

The group also wants to expand even existing £115m plans to narrow or completely pedestrianise roads under what is called the Avenues Project.

It called on the local authority to take “forward the success of the pedestrianisation of parts of the city centre by accelerating the Avenues Projects and by further improving the public realm to encourage active travel choices.” Active travel means more opportunities for walking and cycling.

The group also wants to expand pilot schemes restricting cars near schools. So its crackdown is far from just for its city centre or, the working group reveals, just on personal transport. Its members are also unhappy about truck movements. They concluded: “We appreciate that businesses need to take daily deliveries of goods in the city, but think that a model should be developed for this which can shift towards the use of zero emissions vehicles for the final mile(s).

“We therefore recommend a review of HGV movements within the city with the aim of limiting their number. This should look at potential models for freight consolidation services within the city centre in order to provide a service to businesses and reduce the numbers of vans and HGVs throughout the city centre.”

The Working Group is not just recommending sticks. They have carrots too.

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They gave their backings to a series of high-profile ideas being bandied around in local government, including a potential bid to re-municipalise First Glasgow buses and advanced plans to rebuild a tram network, rebranded as a Metro, as suggested by a separate Connectivity Commission. “People are deeply unhappy with the current state of public transport and want to see a more rapid transition made to a city where walking and cycling are the norm,” Working Group report said.

“They also want a high quality, low emissions public transport system developed under the city’s control – and potentially one which is free to use.

“A radical change to the transport system clearly needs to take place.”

The group also supports the use of the “franchising” powers to regulate the city’s bus network “and to work on the principles of one network, one timetable, one ticket”, like London’s Oyster ticket.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said: “How we use our roads space is critical to our efforts to achieve carbon neutrality.

“The recent Connectivity Commission was very clear that a priority is placed on walking, cycling and public transport as the most efficient and sustainable forms of transport.

“We are currently making huge investments in projects such as the city centre Avenues that will transform Glasgow’s capacity for active travel.

“Supporting the bus industry to run cleaner, more convenient services is also a vital objective for the council.

“Initiatives such as the LEZ go hand-in-hand with the introduction of bus priority measures such as city centre bus gates and these will help make the bus a more attractive and reliable travel option.

“We are currently working on a revised transport strategy for Glasgow that will be fully focused on the push for carbon reduction and our efforts to achieve a net zero city by 2030.”

The council has already announced it will power its entire fleet of 2000 vehicles with renewable energy by 2030. Police Scotland, meanwhile, is also making its vans, cars and motorbikes electric.