Sadiq Khan has been in headlines over the weekend as a draft report leaked to The Telegraph suggested he 'misled' the public about the benefits of his ULEZ scheme. The London project was started in order to tackle pollution in England’s capital.According to The Telegraph article, published 18 November:
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The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is set to criticise Transport for London (TfL) for “misleading” claims about the expansion of the Ulez zone reducing levels of poisonous nitrogen dioxide (NO2) particles.
Transport for London states, ‘road transport is the single biggest contributor of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter emissions in Greater London’, contributing to illnesses ‘such as cancer, asthma and lung disease, and there is a higher risk of dementia in older people’. The site goes on to say that air pollution is even causing ‘premature death’ in Londoners.
However, this report suggests that the affect ULEZ will have does not match what was promised. These findings are set to be hugely embarrassing for Khan and Transport for London after a £9 million 'marketing blitz' was launched ahead of the controversial scheme to sweeten the pill for Londoners.
ULEZ expansion has Londoners frustrated
Even before this report was leaked, Londoners were not impressed. The scheme demands that drivers pay a daily fee of £12.50 to drive within the zone if their vehicle doesn’t meet the ULEZ criteria.
Initially, the scheme was set to include only inner-London but from 29 August, it has spread to cover all the capital’s surrounding boroughs. Many consider this move to have everything to do with money and nothing to do with pollution.
As Uxbridge and South Ruislip MP Steve Tuckwell, whose west London seat will be affected, puts it:
He needs to come clean and admit his ULEZ expansion is nothing more than a cash grab.
Khan’s flash vehicle to be exempt
ULEZ applies to cars, motorbikes, vans and even minibuses. The buzz around this controversial scheme has left many wondering about Sadiq Khan’s own car, a taxpayer-funded £300,000 Range Rover Sentinel. The vehicle was given to London’s mayor by Scotland Yard following concerns for his safety, and is kitted out with bulletproof glass, spike-proof tyres, a five-litre engine and an emergency escape system, reports The Daily Mail.
According to RAC, 700,000 cars in Greater London could be liable to pay the ULEZ charge. If they don’t, they’ll face a £180 fine. Yet, Khan’s James-Bondesque Range Rover won't require the mayor to pay under this scheme. Though rumours have circulated saying the car is 'exempt', surprisingly, it is actually ULEZ compliant.
Unfortunately for Khan, this hasn't done much to placate Londoners.
London-based owners of high-polluting vehicles - so this means diesel is more highly penalised than petrol - are either having to cough up their daily £12.50 or get a new vehicle that complies with emission standards. To sweeten the pill, Khan introduced a £2,000 scrappage scheme to support owners who need to replace their vehicle. If these posts on X are anything to go by, it doesn’t seem to have done the job.
The Daily Mail: Sadiq Khan won't have to pay the ULEZ charge: London mayor's taxpayer-funded luxury 2020 Range Rover is exempt from the £12.50-a-day fee!
Transport for London: Ultra Low Emission Zone
RAC: The London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ): what you need to know
The Telegraph: Sadiq Khan 'misled public' about Ulez benefits