06 July 2014
The Games, due to open on 23 July, were still being branded last week as having “low emission zones” around ten city venues. But no such zones are in fact being designated because organisers have had to quietly backtrack on their plans to make Glasgow 2014 environmentally friendly.
Environmentalists say it is “scandalous” that the public has been misled and point out that air pollution kills 300 people a year in Glasgow and makes many more ill. Games’ organisers admit that they have suffered a “set back”.
In its 2010 sustainability plan, Glasgow City Council promised to “establish low emission zones around Games venues.” According to the Scottish government’s guidance, these are areas created under traffic regulations or planning law in which polluting vehicles are banned using permits or number plate recognition cameras.
On 2 July the council’s website said that management arrangements for low emission zones “will be in place at the venues during the event when vehicles will be subject to a permit system restricting access”. This was part of an effort to make a “greener Glasgow”, it claimed.
But after journalists raised questions about the zones, the web page was rewritten to abandon that commitment. So by 4 July, it just promised “to trial low emission initiatives over a short term period” (see below).