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Banning older cars from a city was ‘unlawful’ and ‘draconian’, a court was told yesterday.

Advocate Lord Davidson of Glen Clova, KC, told judge Lady Poole that Glasgow City Council acted illegally in allowing the Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) to come into force.

The LEZ has been in Glasgow since June, with £60 fines enforced in the city centre, while similar schemes will be introduced in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh next year.

A judicial review, which could rule the zones unlawful, is being heard at the Court of Session, backed by a six-figure sum pledged by a business-led ‘LEZ fightback fund’. 

Lord Davidson told the court Glasgow City Council had failed to follow established legal tests before introducing the LEZ.

Glasgow’s LEZ covers much of the city centre and drivers of non-compliant vehicles faces fines for entering it

The second phase of the scheme aims to improve air quality in Glasgow city centre by limiting which vehicles can enter the area.

Cars, lorries and other forms of transportation which do not meet emission guidelines are not allowed and drivers who break the regulations can be fined.

Lord Davidson said available data showed that air quality in the city centre had been improving in recent years and that this trend was set to continue.

He said the information showed there was no need for an LEZ to be introduced and that the scheme was therefore unlawful.

Lord Davidson also mentioned that drivers could be fined hundreds of pounds if they repeatedly breached the LEZ. He added: ‘This is draconian.’

The judicial review has been brought to court by Glasgow-based Patons Accident Repair Centre. 

Garage owner William Paton, who claims the LEZ has impacted his business, is behind the legal challenge

Its director William Paton has previously ­spoken of how he commissioned a report by the Hilson Moran Institute to study the impact of the first phase of the LEZ for buses which came into force in 2018.

The report found that air quality aims were achieved in phase one, and the second phase impacting other vehicles would not lead to any further improvement. Other critics of the scheme say the LEZ will have a detrimental impact on Glasgow’s economy.

Paul McManus, the drummer with Scots rock band Gun, has contributed £100,000 to a campaign which wants the scheme halted. 

Mr McManus said he wanted to get involved as he feels it will hit poorer people hardest.

Ruth Crawford, KC, representing the council, told Lady Poole the local authority had acquired evidence about nitrogen dioxide emissions which gave it a lawful justification to set up a LEZ.

The hearing continues today, when Ms Crawford continues her submissions and the Scottish Government’s lawyer Gerry Moynihan, KC, is also expected to address the court.

End of road for SUVs in city? 

SUVs may be restricted in parts of Edinburgh

Gas-guzzling SUVs could be banned from parts of Edinburgh as the city looks to crack down on polluting vehicles.

Green councillor Chas Booth said SUVs endanger pedestrians, create potholes and are bad for the environment.

The Leith councillor said the vehicles ‘may be appropriate for a farmer in Fife’ but not ‘a banker in Bruntsfield’.

Councillors backed his motion to ‘explore steps to discourage or restrict larger and heavier vehicles’, which could be enforced through permits and environmental orders.

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

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