Sadiq Khan embarks on ULEZ expansion counter-offensive

Embattled by critics of his ULEZ expansion plans, the Mayor of London has begun fighting back with a succession of science-backed pronouncements that all seem to confirm the city’s need for an expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone.

On 24th April the mayor’s office issued a press release titled ‘New data reveals Mayor’s policies have improved air quality in London significantly since 2016’

The following day came another release: ‘New highly localised data shows every borough in London exceeds World Health Organization limits for toxic pollution’

The first release highlighted the success of Sadiq Khan’s policies, specifically referring to improvements in London’s air quality since 2016 (the year he became mayor), stating that ‘the rate of reduction in NOx emissions from road transport has more than doubled between 2016 and 2019 compared to between 2013 and 2016.’

The data is taken from the latest London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (produced by Transport for London and the Greater London Authority) and provides forecast of future emission levels. 

It  shows total NOemissions in Greater London had reduced by 18% between 2016 and 2019 and are forecast to reduce by a further 31% by 2025 and 44% by 2030 (compared to 2019).  Furthermore it predicts that by 2025, all London schools will be in areas that will meet the Government’s legal limits for NO2. 

Sadiq Khan, said: ‘This new data shows that we have every reason to be hopeful about the future of our city if we continue to take bold action. The impressive rate of reductions in harmful pollution since 2016 highlights that world-leading policies, like ULEZ, are helping us to deliver a greener, safer, cleaner London.’  

The following day’s press release began by announcing that two of the boroughs taking a judicial review against the ULEZ expansion had refused to take part in air quality monitoring in their boroughs in 2021.  

Revealing that new analysis of diffusion tubes across the city (compiled by City Hall) shows every London borough is breaching WHO guidelines for NO2, the report concludes that the new analysis is further evidence that more needs to be done to reduce toxic air in London.

Sadiq Khan again: ‘London’s toxic air is leading to children growing up with stunted lungs and causes around 4,000 premature deaths a year – with the greatest number of attributable deaths in London’s outer boroughs.

‘This data is yet more shocking proof that London’s air quality has been in serious breach of the recognised global standard – and it’s a problem in every single part of the capital.  

‘This is why I made the difficult decision to expand the ULEZ London-wide – to help save lives and to give all Londoners the right to breathe cleaner air.’

A week ago the Mayor’s Office released an evidence review by Imperial College London which maps impact of air pollution throughout life.

photo: © Greater London Authority


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Joseph Peter Green
Joseph Peter Green
1 year ago

If it improved Air quality, then the facts were always there. We are seeing them now? What good timing.

To see them now is nothing but a desperate attempt to justify the push for a Tax to keep afloat His failures at TFL.

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