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CATASTROPHIC: Glasgow’s nighttime economy set to struggle further as hundreds of taxis forced out

Updated: May 29, 2023

Glasgow's low-emission zone (LEZ) is set to be implemented on 1 June causing the city's taxi union to raise ongoing concerns that the scheme could have a catastrophic impact on Glasgow's already struggling nighttime economy.

The LEZ scheme requires drivers who do not meet the emissions standards to pay a hefty £60 fine. Moreover, drivers who re-enter the area will have to pay £480, and if they continue to enter the area, the penalty could double with each re-entry.

This has caused great concern among the taxi industry, and could put around 1,000 iconic taxi vehicles out of operation due to non-compliance with the new rules.

The Glasgow taxi industry has already been hit hard by the pandemic, and this new scheme is set to exacerbate their financial struggles.

A Unite Glasgow cab Section spokesperson said: “Glasgow’s nighttime economy is in the most horrendous state. City would make an excellent set for an apocalyptic movie. Yet nobody in the SNP/Green administration seems bothered?”

After midnight, licensed taxis are the only form of transport offered in and out of the city centre.

The union has called on the council to exempt black cabs from the scheme until 2027 to allow the sector to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. This would provide a much-needed relief to an industry that has been operating under immense financial strain for over a year.

As of February 2022, approximately 1,000 taxis licensed by Glasgow City Council did not meet the new emissions criteria set for Thursday. When enforced, this is likely to significantly reduce the number of taxis available to transport people in and out of the city, which could further adversely impact the already struggling night-time economy.

As of February 2022, of the 1,420 taxis licensed by Glasgow City Council, around 1,000 did not meet new emissions criteria set for Thursday.


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