Court ruling

Garage owner out of pocket after losing LEZ case

Low emission zone
The LEZ aims to cut emissions

Campaigners who lost a legal bid to halt the enforcement of Glasgow’s low emission zone (LEZ) are expected to be £130,000 out of pocket, it has been claimed.

Garage owner William Paton led a judicial review of the scheme through John Paton and Sons, claiming it was unlawful and that it would be damaging to its business which lies just inside the zone.

In the Court of Session Lady Poole ruled in favour of Glasgow City Council which introduced the ban on high-emissions vehicles in June. She said the grounds of challenge to the scheme were “not well founded”.

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

The Patons accident repair workshop on Lister Street is about 500m (0.3 miles) inside the LEZ boundary in Townhead, an area with several car dealerships.

Four of those businesses previously joined Patons to propose a new boundary for the LEZ, but after it was rejected by the council he took legal action.

At a hearing earlier this month, Advocate Lord Davidson of Glen Clova KC said the the local authority’s scheme was “illegal” and “draconian” and should be stopped.

Lord Davidson said that available data showed that air quality in the city centre had been improving in recent years and that this trend was set to continue, leaving no need for an LEZ to be introduced inn Glasgow.

Lawyers for the council and Scottish government told the court that the scheme was lawful and introduced with the purpose of improving public health.

In a written judgement published by the court, Lady Poole upheld the submissions made to her by the local authority and Scottish ministers.

She wrote that the local authority had acted in line with information provided to them by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).

Lady Poole wrote: “These gave a clear basis for Glasgow City Council to reach the conclusion that, without the LEZ scheme, air quality objectives would not be met in a number of city centre locations.”

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