Council chiefs in Glasgow have been accused of “hypocrisy” after it was revealed that more than one third of the authority’s own vehicles do not comply with the city’s controversial Low Emission Zone (LEZ).

Glasgow City Council became the first local authority in Scotland to roll out a low emission zone, in a bid to improve air quality and harmful emissions in the city centre.

But statistics obtained from the city council show that almost 600 of the authority’s own vehicles, making up more than a third of its total vehicles, do not meet the standards required of motorists to enter the zone.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, Glasgow City Council confirmed that of the 1,592 vehicles currently in the authority’s fleet, only 995 are compliant with the LEZ standards and 597 do not meet the requirements.

The statistics mean that more than one third of the council’s own vehicles do not meet the standards set out to enter the LEZ without facing fines.

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The city council has argued that not all of its vehicles are needed to enter the LEZ area of Glasgow and stressed that all of the will be replaced as part of a strategy.

Scottish Conservative shadow transport minister Graham Simpson, said: “This is the height of hypocrisy from the SNP-led Glasgow City Council.

“They’ve imposed this scheme on hard-pressed motorists during a cost-of-living crisis, yet have not bothered to get their own house in order.

“The public will find it astonishing that nearly 600 – more than a third – of the council’s own vehicles fall foul of their own low emission zone.”

He added: “It is all too typical of the arrogance among SNP-Green politicians to not practice what they are asking others to do.

“The SNP-led council have rolled out an unworkable policy to the detriment of Glasgow’s residents and businesses, without even carrying out their own in-house homework before doing so.”

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When the LEZ was rolled out in June, Glasgow City Council said the policy will protect public health by tackling “unacceptably high” levels of air pollution, but opposition parties say the policy will affect livelihoods and businesses.

Number plate recognition cameras will be used to enforce the LEZ.

When a non-compliant vehicle is detected in the zone, a penalty charge notice will be issued to the registered driver.

The first phase of the scheme focused on buses and saw a year-on-year improvement in the proportion of low or zero emission buses servicing the city centre.

The LEZ covers the area of the city centre bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, the River Clyde to the south and Saltmarket and the High Street to the east but does not include the motorway itself.

A vehicle can only drive within an LEZ if it meets the specified emission standards, which are Euro 4 for petrol cars and vans, Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans, and Euro VI for buses, coaches and HGVs.

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The Scottish Government has committed to reduce car kilometres by 20% by 2030.

Scientists have said that lowering air pollution from traffic in cities through LEZs and congestion charging zones (CCZs) has a measurable benefit to public health.

Rosemary Chamberlain of Imperial College London and first author of a study published in the Lancet, said the experts “found evidence of health benefits within a relatively short time of implementation, particularly in relation to cardiovascular disease and road traffic injuries”.

It is understood that the number of the council’s vehicles that do not comply is expected to drop slightly to 584 in the next month or so.

The city council will replace all other non-compliant vehicles through the local authority’s fleet replacement programme.

A council spokeswoman said; “Only a limited number of vehicles in the council’s fleet are required to enter the city centre Low Emission Zone, and those that do are expected to meet the emission standards.

“New LEZ compliant vehicles have been delivered into the council’s fleet and we have undertaken a programme of vehicle retrofit where appropriate, to meet the required standards.”