Glasgow 2014: Low emission zones promise 'broken'

Hampden Park Restrictions on polluting vehicles were originally planned around games venues such as Hampden Park

Environmentalists have accused Commonwealth Games organisers of reneging on promises to create low emission zones around venues.

Glasgow 2014 has been recognised for efforts to reduce carbon emissions, waste and promote healthy living.

But Friends of the Earth said pledges to ban the most polluting vehicles from venue areas had been broken.

Glasgow 2014 admitted vehicles fell short of low emission targets but said it was committed to sustainability.

Friends of the Earth Scotland said low emission zones - where the most polluting vehicles are restricted or discouraged - had been a key plank of environmental promises that underpinned Glasgow's bid.

Air pollution campaigner Emilia Hanna said: "This promise has been broken.

"The zones were a key project and Glasgow won the bid for the Commonwealth Games in part because of its green promises.

"What we now know is that there will not be low emission zones during the Games.

Nextbike bikes Glasgow's new bike hire scheme is available at six Games venues

"We were expecting restrictions covering a wide area of several streets out from each venue, but all we are getting is the existing security cordon immediately around the sites.

"Part of the legacy of the Games could have been to demonstrate for the first time in Scotland the difference that low emission zones could make to pollution.

"Any restrictions on vehicles covering such a limited area as effectively pointless."

A Glasgow 2014 spokesman, speaking on behalf of Games partners, said it had proved challenging to procure the vehicles necessary to reach the standards required for low emission zones.

But he said that despite the "setback" they had achieved certification for sustainability on par with what was achieved at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Environmental measures include:

  • Brand new vehicles including some electric vehicles. All petrol and diesel vehicles to use low emissions fuels.
  • Active promotion of public transport. No spectator parking at venues.
  • Games tickets come with the provision of funded travel on Glasgow's public transport network.
  • A modern fleet of low-emission temporary energy generators; and venues using mains electricity for energy provision where possible.
  • Improvement of transport links such as the Clyde Walkway and connecting the "Bridge to Nowhere".
  • All competition venues will have bicycle parking facilities outside the venue perimeter fence

The spokesman added: "Sustainability remains at the core of our decisions and we continue to work collaboratively through the Glasgow 2014 Environment Forum, which comprises representatives from Scottish government, the Organising Committee, Glasgow City Council, and a wide range of environmental regulatory groups and non-governmental organisations.

"The forum has been satisfied that our approach across a range of key areas, including the reduction of emissions, is appropriate."

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