A garage owner in Glasgow who says the city’s new Low Emission Zone (LEZ) will have a “monumental” impact on his business has lost his legal challenge.
In September, we reported on the £100,000 donation received by William Paton to go towards the legal fees incurred by bringing the case before a judicial review. He claimed the LEZ was unlawful and would be damaging to his business.
Mr Paton runs Patons Accident Repair Centre, which is located 500m inside the zone’s boundary in Townhead.
Lawyers acting for the family business claimed Mr Paton’s human rights had been breached by the introduction of the LEZ and his garage would lose business repairing non-compliant vehicles.
But at Scotland’s highest civil court, judge Lady Poole ruled in favour of Glasgow City Council, saying the grounds of challenge were “not well founded”.
In a written statement, Lady Poole said the council had acted in line with information provided to them by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, saying: “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.
“It was not a mistake of fact for Glasgow City Council to reach its conclusion merely because other methodologies might be applied by other people to reach a different conclusion.”
In response, councillor Angus Millar, city convener for transport and climate, said: “Today’s decision reflects that Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone is an important public health measure, aimed at bringing down harmful levels of air pollution within the city centre after decades of unacceptable non-compliance with legal standards.
“Air pollution creates and exacerbates people’s health conditions and contributes to hundreds of deaths in Glasgow every year, worsening health inequalities and disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable.”
Having lost his legal bid, William Paton is reportedly £130,000 out of pocket, although Lady Poole has invited him to address concerns about the LEZ to Glasgow City Council, which is obliged to review the scheme every year.